Things went from bad to worse for publishing giant Pearson yesterday, as its stock took a dive following the news Wednesday that LA Unified announced plans to seek a refund for thousands of Apple iPads pre-loaded with Pearson educational software that the district said was ineffective.
Pearson was the single worst performer on the Financial Times Stock Exchange Thursday and suffered its worst loss since February 2014, according to Market Watch. The stock dropped four percent after LA Unified issued a letter that it was “extremely dissatisfied” with the Pearson content and wanted a full refund potentially worth tens of millions.
The Pearson-loaded iPads were part of what was once a grand initiative of LAUSD’s former Superintendent John Deasy, who set out to use $1.3 billion of bond money to get an iPad into the hands of every student and teacher in the district. The program, part of the now defunct Common Core Technology Project, was to purchase $500 million worth of devices and spend $800 million on Internet capability upgrades at schools.
The plan now lies in ruins and surrounded by controversy, including a grand jury investigation and a SEC inquiry. LA Unified to date has purchased roughly 43,000 of the Pearson-loaded iPads, which came at a cost $768 per device. Continue reading