I heard that the Hawaii Department of Education has asked for and the Legislature has approved $40 million to buy computers for every public school student in the state. Is this true?
Have any of you looked at the folly of this? Let me give you a few items to think about:
* The best K through 12 school in the U.S. forbids electronics in its school. Why? Their job is to teach students to think, and computers do not foster that.
* Most accomplished educators agree that class time is the most critical element of good education. Hawaii school days are 1 hour and 20 minutes shorter than the national average. Inspire any thoughts? More class time. Fewer placebos.
* Computer technology is still becoming obsolete every two years. How often are you going to replace these computers and software during the educational careers of our students? Is an obsolete computer any better than none at all?
* How many will be sold by the students or their families?
* How many will be stolen?
* How many will be lost?
* How many will be broken?
* How many will be traded or sold to buy drugs, cars, clothes, whatever?
Spend $40 million a year more to lengthen the school day or to increase teacher salaries, not to search for a technology solution to a human problem, and not to make yourselves feel good about creating an illusion of support for our educational system. It's failing. Computers won't fix it. People will fix it.