Fort Bend ISD scraps controversial $16 million iPad program

Fort Bend ISD scraps controversial $16 million iPad program
October 8, 2013 4:33:50 AM PDT
A local school district spent millions of dollars on a new program to get iPads into the hands of teachers and students. But after a scathing review of that program -- which we first told you about -- the plan is now being scrapped.

Fort Bend ISD purchased 6,300 iPads as it launched its iAchieve program in Feburary 2012. It was supposed to be a way to increase science test scores that were lagging.

But the district has now scrapped the $16 million plan after an independent review discovered contract and project management problems, and goals for the program which were unrealistic.

"At this point, the iAchieve program is no longer in existence," Fort Bend ISD Superitendent Charles Dupre said.

Dupre would not place blame on the prior administration. He just took office earlier this year. The company that was contracted to develop the program allowing teachers to interact simultaneously on the iPads with students was to be a paid $1 million, $680,000 of which it actually received, despite troubles with the platform.

"The instructional delivery platform that was to be designed to effectively use the iPads in a classroom was never completed," Dupre said.

The program and its cost were controversial from the start. That's a lot of money, and some parents want to know if it could have been more wisely spent.

"For $16 million, you gotta get it right," one parent told Eyewitness News.

Dupree says the students are still reaping a return on the investment. The iPads are in schools still, and teachers can use them any way they see fit.

The district is looking at ways to better use the iPads in the future.

We should note that the former superintendent did not return our calls on Monday for comment.

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