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$1B iPad Program for Los Angeles Schools is a Gigantic Failure

Los Angeles school officials have taken back iPads from students at Westchester and Roosevelt high schools and possibly other campuses as well until further notice, the latest fallout from student hacking of the devices.

The move is another complication in efforts to provide aniPad to every student as part of a $1-billion technology plan in the nation’s second-largest school system.

The first devices are going to 47 schools, a process that has involved working out more kinks than expected.

Staff at Roosevelt in Boyle Heights and students at Westchester confirmed that the $700 tablets were taken back Friday by school officials. But a Roosevelt teacher said only about two-thirds of about 2,100 devices were immediately returned by students.

A week ago, L.A. Unified School District administrators were scrambling to respond when they learned that students skirted security measures that were intended to block free browsing of the Internet. In interviews, students said they had been disappointed at their inability to get to social networking and music streaming sites. Their work-around involved a couple of clicks — and soon hundreds of students were reaching any website they wanted.

The district tally of hackers was 260 students at Roosevelt, 10 students from Angelou Community High School in South Park and 70 at Westchester High. The numbers could be higher, based on reports from students and employees at the campuses.

District officials last week expressed some admiration for the students’ ingenuity, and they discussed the possibility of enlisting students’ help on an anti-hacking committee.

At the schools, however, students reported a less sanguine response, with some expressing concern about threats of discipline. District technicians had been able to tell immediately which devices had bypassed the security filter. . .

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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