LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles teachers’ union Wednesday asked Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent John Deasy to place himself in “teacher jail” while investigations are conducted into two controversial technology efforts by the district.

KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports members of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) staged a rally outside LAUSD headquarters in downtown LA to call attention to the practice of keeping teachers out of classrooms for disciplinary purposes – and urged Deasy to abide by his own policies.

Deasy has faced increased criticism over now-scrapped plans to distribute iPad tablets to the district’s 650,000 students as well as lingering issues with a new LAUSD student data system that launched at the beginning of the school year.

UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl said the ongoing issues with the My Integrated Student Information System (MISIS) “has lead students to be out of classes, parents to be in lines trying to enroll their kids, educators and counselors working into the night every night to try to get a scrambled system together.”

“We need whoever is at the head of this district to be focused on schools and students and the day-to-day operations, and not scrambling to try to get out of investigations,” said Caputo-Pearl.

The union has long called for the end of so-called “teacher jails” have been the focus of an unfair labor practice trial hearings by the Public Employment Relations Board earlier this year.

Deasy, however, dismissed the proposal as more political grandstanding and pledged to continue to do his job.

“Our team is way too focused about lifting youth out of poverty to be involved in nonsense politics,” he said. “I think the only opinion that matters is what we’re doing for students.”

In a six-page memo (PDF) dated Sept. 2, Deasy addressed several issues surrounding the Common Core Technology Project – which includes the iPad rollout – and reiterated that he did not participate in the bidding process “because of the 15 shares in Apple stock I held in my retirement account at the time.”

On Tuesday, Chino Hills Assemblyman Curt Hagman asked District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office to investigate the iPad bidding process to “ensure complete transparency in a process that puts $1 billion of voter taxes at risk.”

The Republican lawmaker cited a Los Angeles Times article that found both former Deputy Superintendent Jaime Aquino and Deasy had close ties to Apple and Pearson Education Corp., which eventually won the bid to provide iPads and curriculum for the project.

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