In general, I’m more concerned about the educational impact of the HSE 21 implementation. But this is a reminder that we’re talking about serious money with these programs. Mismanagement and conflicts of interest all too easily shift the focus away from students to other stakeholders.
In the memo, [LA Superintendent] Deasy said his decision also related to the changing marketplace. The original contract, for example, immediately came under fire because the model of iPad the district agreed to buy was almost immediately superseded by a newer version on retail shelves.
This is the exact same situation as HSE families renting iPads this year. The current HSE rental model has been discontinued by Apple, though it is still in circulation.
I don’t think we have to worry in HSE about financial impropriety on the scale that the LA report suggests. It doesn’t seem that HSE Schools has one primary vendor, and a lot of the cost is borne directly by families. But there are still a lot of unanswered questions and widespread technology issues.