Dear John Deasy

You’re trying to stuff a billion dollars worth of iPads and WiFi into LA’s school system. And I have a few serious predictions about that: for starters, you’ll probably be successful in the end. You’ve hit a couple bumps (read about that here), but it sounds like you might really give a damn about the children of Los Angeles and seem to have good, albeit misguided intentions.

I understand you’ve inherited a mess, and yes technology will help, but it’s most likely going to flop. I think it’s ignoring the real issues. Why are kids struggling this much with school? You can give everyone an iPad, but unless that’s going to somehow pull hungry families out of poverty it’s pointless.

We don’t even know if they’re going to remember half the shit they “learn” playing computer games. Teaching a child to apply theory to the real world should conceivably be twice as difficult if it’s all being learned on a digital application. I should know, my classmates and I used an earlier version of the iPad, the one you shoved a big, floppy, black square in, and by the way I don’t remember any of the shit learned from those games. Nothing, not a goddamn thing.

You know why I did well in school? I had food throughout the day. I came home to parents who didn’t just expect me to do my homework, they had time to help me with it. I was encouraged to read, explore, and imagine.

Deasy, I’m not saying you should bail entirely on the idea, but it’s not the solution to your problems, and ultimately it will fail your expectations if you are indeed as passionate as you sound.



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