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Texas High School Gets iBooks 124

bigjnsa500 writes "Starting in December, high school teachers and students in the sleepy south Texas town of Pleasanton will be receiving Apple iBook wireless laptops. The school has installed wireless access points throughout the campus, including classroom buildings, the shop areas, gym, field house and press box at the football stadium. It will be first high school campus in South Texas to go high-tech." Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't that $2.2m over four years be better spent on books and teachers?
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Texas High School Gets iBooks

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  • Especially since being a Texas HS means their football stadium already seats 10,000+ and has astroturf. No need to upgrade that!
    • No way! We'll drain the Rio Grande (screw you, Mexico) before we let our precious players touch that stuff. 100 yards of pure, green, thirsty burmuda. Yup.

  • surely... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xirtam_work ( 560625 )
    I'm sure they've let some money for teachers. It's not mutually exclusive to spend money on technological resources and teachers is it?
    • Re:surely... (Score:2, Interesting)

      I would think that technology funding and teachers come from different pools of money, but I could be wrong.

      Additionally, they might be able to save some money if they can buy the books on CD-ROM. Hell, they might even save some of their students from serious back problems if all they have to carry around is a little paper, and iBook, and a pencil.
      • You won't save money with books on CD. Many textbooks now come with CD companions, but they're pretty bad. And the books themselves, of course cost $100+ Or at least this has been the college experience thus far. But I'm willing to bet that the books I buy are made by some of the same publishers as highschool textbooks.
        • You said it yourself, the books cost quite a bit of money, and you're right, many of the same publishers that publish college books also publish high school books. It costs a lot more money to print the books than it does to press CDs, and many publishers (though I'm not absolutely sure on textbook publishers) already offer books on CDs for less than the dead tree editions.
      • Plus, for me it's hard to read a lot of text on a computer.
        • I usually read more quickly on a computer, but I am very touchy about the clarity of text on the computer as well as refresh rates and such. In any case, it should still be possible to print the text, though I'm sure parents wouldn't want their kids printing out the entire book for each of their classes.
      • Re:surely... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Tax money is the only pool that this funding comes from.

        I'm not convinced that this is the best way to spend the money, but it is not my decision to make.

        Would the money be better spent on teachers? If it is spent on hiring more teachers, improving student-teacher ratios.

        Even though teachers are grossly underpaid in relation to the importance of their job, major increases in their salaries might bring in more of the "I'm in it for the money" teachers rather than "I want to teach" teachers.

        • Tax money is the only pool that this funding comes from.

          That's a very high-level view of things. In most cases, tax money gets broken into several pools, for instance education, law enforcement, and the DMV. Considering the overhead in most local education departments, it's very likely that the money each district receives is seperated into pools for technology, supplies, teachers, books, and so on. The state of California was 50th in the country for per-student spending on books when I attended school t
        • Tax money is the only pool that this funding comes from.

          The projects are often funded by grants, sometimes from corporations or private foundations. Not only tax money.

          Even though teachers are grossly underpaid in relation to the importance of their job, major increases in their salaries might bring in more of the "I'm in it for the money" teachers rather than "I want to teach" teachers.

          Those teachers would not stay, for the same reason the "I'm in it for the summer vacation" teachers don't last, eit
    • It's not mutually exclusive to spend money on technological resources and teachers is it?

      Yes, it is. Money is a finite resource. The more they spend on tech toys, the less they have to spend on things that will actually effect how much the kids learn, like teachers.

      The common arguement, of course, is that the money comes from a different place. That's bullshit. It all comes from the same place, the taxpayers pocket.

      I don't mind paying taxes, I think it necessary to keep our society functioning , but I d
    • Moderators on Crack! Parent is not a troll, merely pointing out the obvious.
  • Even though the computers are locked down (and Mac OS X is *nix so it won't be pseudo-locked like WinXP), kids will still be able probably to play Java games or the like. Or some industrious kids could boot up YD-Linux and do whatever they want.

    At my HS, the most common use for TI-8* calculators is playing games. Who says there will be any difference with these computers?
    • Actually its entirely possible that they come with Deimos Rising and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4--they tend to come already installed on new macs.

      I think the concern is that they don't want them running "ye random software that you download from the net" for whatever reason.

      Seems kind of odd to lock the systems though, just a recipe for disaster as far as tech support is concerned--you'll need to have one person do all of your troubleshooting for every system, rather than having the students do any of their
    • What you say is true, but kids will play games with anything. When I was in school, we folded paper into triangles and played football. We played hockey with quarters. We had races on inclined desks with erasers. And when calculators were first introduced into our schools, we played games with the calculators. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Saying kids will play games with something is always true, and is not a good excuse for not doing it. (Not that I think computers are necess
    • No, sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mikey-San ( 582838 )
      Actually, I guarantee you they won't be able to boot into any other OS BUT Mac OS X. They won't be able to boot from a CD. A FireWire drive. NetBoot. Nothing. They won't even be able to drop into >console.


      Lock-downs. If this town is smart, they'll lock down the machines the same way Henrico County Public Schools did in Virignia. (After learning the hard way.) Firmware locks, linking >console to dropping into the "/dev/null" shell (wink wink), etc. The kids will get their own account and will nev
      • Just wondering, It was my knowledge that performing the key combo for zapping the PRam would destroy any open firmware locks. After that, then its a simple matter to boot from any media.

        The point is, the kids have physical access to the machines (duh) and therefore there is no way to 100% secure it.
  • How many of these are going to get lost/stolen/broken? I remember the hardback textbooks at my highschool had a tough enough time making it through the school year. I think a better computer lab or even laptops that are confined to classrooms would be a better idea.
    • by Llywelyn ( 531070 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @08:58AM (#7527356) Homepage
      Doesn't confining a laptop to a classroom defeat the purpose of having a laptop? Besides, letting them take the laptops home allows them to write papers etc while at home.

      That said, the iBook is a pretty durable laptop. You can put one through a good deal of abuse and it will still come out okay. So broken is only a nominal issue.

      Lost and Stolen are more of a concern, but I don't see that as being a big problem in a small town when the laptops are already being locked down and probably have the serial numbers linked to the students. This isn't exactly NYC we're talking about here--if you leave a backpack on a bus you'll probably get the backpack back with all of its contents intact.
      • I don't know about older iBooks, but my sister has already managed to destroy her iBook G4 after two weeks of use. She dropped it from a whopping distance of 4 feet, which completely shattered the LCD screen.
        • Depending on the angle the machine hit the ground, it could have ended up being a non-issue. I've dropped my iBook twice from about 6 feet. It landed fairly flat both times. The first time, you couldn't tell anything happened. The second time, I broke the hinge, but it still worked so I didn't get it replaced. It's an amazing machine. It took a serious beating and still runs like a champ.

          My 12" PB has also taken a fall from about 4 feet, and it never missed a beat. It was running a long process at t
      • by ManxStef ( 469602 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @12:33PM (#7529035) Homepage
        Doesn't confining a laptop to a classroom defeat the purpose of having a laptop?

        I'm on the IT advisory board of the local college here, and the reason they're keen on laptops (with wifi) is all due to classroom resource usage - why lock a room down to a single purpose "computer room" wired up with workstations and monitors when you can just carry in a scutch of laptops and then let any teacher use that room for other purposes?

        This isn't a perfect solution in that it doesn't factor in resources such as manuals, books, etc. which would also have to be carted between rooms, or dedicated hardware for that matter, so it doesn't obviate the need for networking/Cisco/hardware labs for instance, but overall laptops are an excellent solution in freeing up classrooms.

      • Breakage (Score:3, Interesting)

        by borkus ( 179118 )
        When Henrico County near Richmond, Virginia did this, they initially had considerable problems [] with systems breaking. Part of that was educating students in how to handle the systems properly. Part of it was underestimating the support needs of 25,000 laptop users. Even if 1% of the systems break each year, that's still 250 repairs a year. Initially, the county didn't have an on-site repair shop; machines had to be shipped to DC to be fixed.

        Interestingly, after two years of iBooks in schools, the issue
      • Durable?? I moved mine on my desk and the thing stopped working - that was a month ago and I'm STILL waiting for the repair!
  • In High-tech Heretic [] Stoll does a quickie calculation to compare the cost of computer installation (computers, network, software, maintenance) with the number of textbooks and general library books a school could buy. There's no doubt that books are a far better deal. Not to mention that books last a lot longer than any software or computer hardware will. I'm not saying there's no place for computers in school. My kids do some killer data reduction in science classes, but that doesn't mean flooding a s
    • 2.2 million over 4 years is 550K$ per year. I would guess that the cost of employing a teacher is in the neighborhood of 100K$ including salary, benefits, overhead including associated janatorial staff, offic admin, and other indirect costs. (just a wild guess, not based on research). that means that sum is probably equivalent to 5 teachers plus their computers, and other materials and suppies, per year.

      the are 950 studens in the school system. this mean each student would get about 0.5% more teacher

      • Assuming an average classroom size of 30, that's about 15% more teachers per classroom

        Your calculations may be accurate or not, but if you take that 15%, it also works out to (roughly) 15% fewer students per class. This would reduce a class from, e.g., 30 to 25 or 26. And that's not insignificant.

  • by nystagman ( 603173 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @08:51AM (#7527336)
    Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't that $2.2m over four years be better spent on books and teachers? Only if those books do NOT mention the heretical "theory" of "evolution". Note to the humor impaired: I am totally serious. Really.
  • School districts are always saying that they are low on cash that is the only way they can get a bigger budget next year. That is the same with any other institution that gets government spending. Every year or so they show what they spend and then then show what they plan to spend next year. Now if they didn't use all the money the current year they will get a smaller budget next year. So they try to spend all the money on different areas (including $15 for a metal spatula for New York State schools (wh
    • Has anyone ever seen what the school board members and the superintendents make? We had one here that was making $250K/yr and left early with a balloon payment of over a million dollars! Seems to me money could be spent elsewhere here. What the hell does a superintendent do except yell at Skinner?


    • As someone who is somewhat familliar with school financing, I have to say you are way off base.

      School districts in CA (where I teach) are required by law to put forth a balanced budget every year. In most cases, they must put forth a budget for the upcoming year using "soft" numbers, usually determined by projected enrollment for the upcoming year (x# of students *x$ per student). In most cases, school districts do not have firm numbers to work with, and yet have to come up with a balanced budget that wil
    • It's always funny to listen to educational "experts" wax on about the need to put computers in every class.

      What a total joke. If schools cannot teach reading and algebra, "teaching computers" (whatever that means) is pointless.
      • What a total joke. If schools cannot teach reading and algebra, "teaching computers" (whatever that means) is pointless.

        Damn right. when I went through high school my use of computers was about nil. In the last few years of HS I had access to one, but before that, I had to type out every paper of a type-writer.

        Now let me tell you something. If you want to teach a kid good english and spelling, make them work on a typewriter. After about the 5th time you make a mistake near the end, I guaran-damn-tee

      • What do they even plan to do with these laptops? Give students access to the internet for reading and research? Let them graph and solve math problems (adding cost of math software)? Let them write papers? Let them read the textbooks they could have gotten in a digital format? Teach them software like Photoshop, etc?

        I can't think of many more valid uses, but all of those things are better suited for in a computer lab, library, or classroom. How often do you really do any of those things? Not much. You do
    • Well, I cannot claim to have knowledge of public school funding in Texas, but the poster's comments certainly don't apply to Michigan's public schools. Our schools are funded by a per pupil mechanism that is financed by a combination of state property, sales and sin (cigarette) taxes with sales tax making up the lion's share.

      It works like this:

      Higher # of students and larger budget
      Smaller # of students and a smaller budget

      Now this funding formula doesn't take into consideration the fact as population

    • (including $15 for a metal spatula for New York State schools (which is $4 at Walmart for a good one)

      Lol, if you think that's a good idea of misspending, you've got another thing coming.

      You should come to my university and see the $600 doorknob. There was a joke in the student paper about how the administration uses gold bars to wipe their butts instead of toilet paper...
  • schools should be spending money on today...

    My school bought new textbooks every 10 years... My senior year I had a brand new english textbook (exactly the same as the old one) and all the others were 10 years old... Government and Economics textbooks were both completely out of date (because they were poorly written... should be something that doesn't go out of date)

    With computers, hopefully there exists (or will exist) a way of having new (well written) resources for all classes... updated to the minute
    • schools should be spending money on today...

      My school bought operating systems every 3 years... My senior year I had a brand new Microsoft Operating System (exactly as buggy as the old one) and all the others were 3 years old... Windows editions were completely out of date (because they were poorly written... should be something that doesn't go out of date)

      With computers there exist ways of having new resources for all classes, but you'll never be able to access the only fine formats ever again.
    • Well I think they could update every year, by licensing the latest version of the text book in electronic form. For those districts that have decided to go modern and get computers for everyone, demand that their text books come in PDF form as opposed to the physical printed analog version. This way you don't have the problem of it being outdated. No missing books. No shipping charges. Nothing for the kids to lug around and lose. Nothing to get defaced. And it can include multimedia in addition to pictures.
    • With computers, hopefully there exists (or will exist) a way of having new (well written) resources for all classes... updated to the minute.

      There is, but if your school could only afford new textbooks every ten years, they're not going to be able to afford it. Think of a laptop as a MUCH more expensive wrapper for the textbook's data. Yes, laptops have the advantage of being able to update that data, but all you've saved is the cost of the materials in the textbook--you still have to pay for the cost of

  • From the article:

    The students -- who expressed the most excitement about the CD burner and chat software -- will find that there are some limitations.

    Their computers will be locked, meaning they cannot download any additional software, Hindes said.

    Any Web sites deemed objectionable will be blocked, and the district could shut off the chat software if messaging between students gets out of hand.

    Losing a laptop or having one stolen carries a $125 penalty, he said.

    In addition, the district has s
    • Is this legal ? Does giving a computer for free allow you to monitor and filter whatever you want ?

      I would say yes. It is property of the school so the school is entitled to ensure that their property is being used correcetly. They are probably doing this for legal reasons as well. If the students decide to do something illegal with the computers, the school can stop it before action is taken against the school.
    • Oh, shut the hell up.

      It's supposed to be a learning device. Do the kids need AIM in English class at all? (LOL OMG R U BUSY L8ER???) If they get irresponsible lose it, and the school is out a $1,000 machine, what's wrong with charging a /tenth/ of the value of the machine? I lost a textbook in high school, and I paid FULL PRICE for the bastard.

      If the school gives the students SCHOOL PROPERTY for the purpose of DOING SCHOOLWORK, what's wrong with making sure /they're doing schoolwork?/

      And really, how is t
      • Tell me smartass, if a student does not pay for his dorm, they could put video cams there too ?

        I love this moral of "who own decides". Wake up dear friend. Mankind went a bit farther than that during the last century. The idea is that *privacy* is more important than your sordid considerations.

        Maybe you could, say, shut the hell up, and try to think a bit?
        • I don't see how the restrictions are any worse than what you'd get at any school computer lab.

          Schools have liability too and it is their responsibility to ensure their equipment is used properly. And yes, who owns _does_ decide.. it is their equipment after all. Just because the school loans you something (be it a laptop, a textbook or a pair of gym shorts), if you are using it in a manner they deem inappropriate they should have the right to take it away.

  • I agree with Cliff []. With the possible exception of teaching programming, computers in schools are an unnecessary distraction. Here's a background piece [] about his book on the subject.

  • by POds ( 241854 )
    Are these private schools? If not, how much money does the American government have to throw away. Is there going to be HUGE advantages for each student to have his/her own laptop? Yeh its cool, and their going to be able to get their assigments via online, saving the teacher having organise the hand outs all by his/her self, and maybe you'll be able to order your lunch from the kiosk whilst you'r walking there but does it all really help?

    Maybe in the future i can see students needing laptops, and i wish i
    • by POds ( 241854 )
      >Also, i've only mentioned the software.

      That was supposed to be

      Also, i've only mentioned the hardware.

    • Some of your other questions aren't as easy to answer, but you did ask why a laptop vs desktop, which is a no-brainer - portability.

      Laptops move from classroom to classroom. Laptops move into the lab then back to the desk. Laptops can go home (!) then back to school. Kids aren't fixed in place in school - they wander from room to room during the day.

      With a desktop system, you'd waste a couple minutes a period (maybe 5-10% of their class time) logging in/out of accounts. Plus - then you'd need to worry
    • Education spending is done mostly by state and local governments (this is why you get nicer schools with larger budgets in wealthier towns). So this 2.2 million is most likely coming from local property taxes (or corporate taxes if there are any major companies headquarted in this town).
    • The cost advantage of Windoze machines would completely disappear the first time an email virus strikes all of the machines on campus.
    • by saha ( 615847 )

      But surely they didnt have to buy EACH student a LAPTOP, and an APPLE one at that! Wouldnt several cheap X86 desktop systems do the job? Why pick laptops, which are expensive and PPCs, which are expensive. So much money could have been saved. Also, i've only mentioned the software. We dont have to talk at all about the advantages of OSS!!!

      Apple iBooks are competitive with low cost PC laptops. Plus from my experience as system administrator who buys Dells and Apples all the time for our university. Dell Q

  • by dbirchall ( 191839 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @09:36AM (#7527504) Journal
    Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't that $2.2m over four years be better spent on books and teachers?
    Um, no. We've had 2 or 3 decades of the mantra of "we need more money for books and teachers," and has it helped? Not really.

    Why? Well, I'm not an academic, but I think they forget that learning is something you do, not something that's done to you. You can't teach someone who doesn't want to learn, isn't ready to learn, or whatever. Conversely, you can't stop someone from learning who really wants to. Teachers are all well and good for the middle third of kids, I suppose... but give a kid a computer and odds are they'll learn something without you having to tell them to do so.

    • Learning is definitely something that you do. I think it's the goal of a teacher to teach his or her students to learn on their own. However, based on my own experience in high school (4 years ago now), I found this to be the opposite for nearly all the teachers I had. Usually, I think the students were partially to blame as well.

      I could think of some awesome things that teachers could do if every student had a laptop computer, but, more than likely, the computers will be used to exchange porn and IMs

    • by Quixotic Raindrop ( 443129 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @10:29AM (#7527860) Journal
      You make an interesting point about learning/education being a process that students undergo, but I think you are confusing the issue. First, the money spent on the computers probably comes from a capital fund, which in many states cannot be used for teacher pay or textbooks (it's illegal to mix the funds in many states).

      Second, the "mantra of we need more money for books and teachers" doesn't seem to have helped because it's a mantra, and the funding doesn't actually get improved. The argument often used is "the money we gave you already hasn't helped, why should we give you more?" (the "good money after bad" theory.) The problem can be made more clear this way: if we funded the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force with $10 Million to share between them, we'd have been run over by the North Koreans already. We have asked our public schools to perform one of the most vital and non-trivial tasks in society, and we have asked them to do it with about 20% of the money they need. Until we fully fund all public schools, we cannot say that we have fairly assessed them, and are in no position to criticize them for failing.
      • by ivan256 ( 17499 ) * on Friday November 21, 2003 @11:28AM (#7528381)
        doesn't seem to have helped because it's a mantra, and the funding doesn't actually get improved.


        As somebody who lives in a town that has had outragous tax increases every year since the late eighties, let me tell you that it's more than a mantra. The problem is that the money doesn't go to teachers and books alone, it goes to the school. Then a huge chunk is paid to school administrators, is used to expand the sports program, renovate buildings, and by the time the additonal money gets down to the teachers and books, the teachers that already are overpaid (yes, overpaid. $60k/9 months is overpaid, and that's the average around here... many make more than that here) get raises and no progress has been made.

        I refuse to believe that students learn better in a new building than in one built in 1970. I refuse to believe that raising my taxes again is going to improve the local schools when last time they increased the schools funding they used the money to build a football field. I resent parents voting for things with long term costs so they can have their little brats go to the best school possible, and then move to a town with lower taxes promptly after said brats graduate from high school, and I resent it because it destroys the community; something i believe is every bit as important as the number of teachers and books in the school. It's sad when all the retired residents of your town are forced to sell the houses their families have owned for generations because some self-focused parents have no concept of the long term concequences.

        Instead of throwing money at the problem we should be making the hard decisions and fixing the problems that make educating a child in a public school so expensive. That means standing up to teachers unions in communities where the teachers are overpaid. That means not nescicarily trying to win the state basketball championship. That means staying in that building even though it's an ugly relic of a past generation. That means not hiring administrators back on at an hourly rate and into a useless position after they retire and get their pension. When you can convince me you've stopped wasting money, you can try to convince me you need more.
        • by Quixotic Raindrop ( 443129 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @12:56PM (#7529270) Journal
          Having actually worked in a public school district, I can tell you unequivocally that it is just a mantra. Most of the teachers in the district I worked for start at $23K, and teachers at other districts around the state start at between $21K and $25K. Top-end pay for teachers ranges from $45K to $65K, depending on their degree level (bachelor's vs. masters), and that's after 30+ years of teaching in the same district. Most of the money that our district received to buy things like computers, and build new buildings (not to replace aging buildings, but to build new ones because there were too many students in the school, or to replace aging trailers and temporary buildings because there were too many students for the existing buildings) was funded not by increased taxes, but by bond issues, and was later repaid.

          Maybe in your community, teachers are better-paid than police officers (starting pay for a cop here is $37K), but here they are not, and in many places they are not. Maybe in your community, schools raise taxes to build new buildings simply because their existing buildings are too old, not too small. But that is not reality in many places.
        • Well said, and on a day with me without mod points
        • Please. Tell us. What are the "outrageous salaries" that are being paid in your community? Have you ever worked as a teacher in a public school system? Or, are you one of the "armchair administrators" that see this as a simple problem?

          The problems of educating EVERYONE (no matter what their inclination to learn) and being forced to accept all sorts of abberant behavior (no matter what the parents' willingness to get involved may be) are among the more difficult things that my wife (who's been teaching midd
          • Or, are you one of the "armchair administrators" that see this as a simple problem?

            If "armchair administrator" means "person who pays the tab", then yes. I never said this was a simple problem, but the difficulties are political and personal, not techincal or (nessicarily) financial.

            Your laundy list of horror stories is so far away from the typical public school situation in the US that it's almost laughable, but more importantly, none of those nightmares you described stands as any reason to fix the pro
            • The district that I worked in is in the richest part of town (by per household income, average district household income > $100,000/year), and we averaged ten students suspended or expelled per year for bringing knives or guns on campus, or for verbally threatening teachers with grevious bodily harm, just at the high school. It is more typical than you think.
        • I disagree with your original point that teachers are overpaid. Even if they were averaging $60k for 9 months work (which isn't the case anywhere in my state), it's still not enough. We should pay teachers enough that real world professionals are fighting each other to get a good paying teaching job.

          You do make a good point about mis-spending money, however. Just like with many lower class families, schools so rarely have money that they don't know what to do with it when they get it. Many times they c
          • I disagree with your original point that teachers are overpaid. Even if they were averaging $60k for 9 months work (which isn't the case anywhere in my state), it's still not enough. We should pay teachers enough that real world professionals are fighting each other to get a good paying teaching job.

            Clearly different districts pay their teachers differently. There is one universal problem though. Money goes to seniority first. You can't pay new teachers enough because you're busy paying old teachers more
        • Oy, where to start...

          $60k/9 months is overpaid

          Man, I wish I knew where you lived. My mother has been teaching in an elemetary school here in South Texas for 25+ years, and she sure as hell doesn't earn 60k. She get's more in the area of 40k, which isn't very much when you consider that teachers are some of the most important influences on the development of any child. Also, it's not just "9 Months" as you say. Teachers work late nights, and early mornings in the year, get very very few vacation breaks,

          • Ok first of all:

            Teachers [...] get very very few vacation breaks

            I was laughing for a good five minutes after that one. Please, give me a break. The teachers I know all get every national and local holiday off. In most jobs there are 7 holidays per year. There are more than 7 holidays in the 9 month school year. Then, on top of the two month summer break there are two vacation weeks during the school year too! You're just plain wrong here.

            Such as mold so bad that some sensitive students get sick. Or, t
      • by fridgepimp ( 136338 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @12:54PM (#7529243) Homepage
        That comment MIGHT be interesting IF private schools hadn't demonstrated the ability to educate students (usually with better educations) for fewer dollars per student per year. Often, too, they pay teachers pretty well.

        And NO, not all private schools are for rich kids.

        The problem with funding our education system is that the bureaucracy built around education is so massive, and generally scarfs all the money.

    • I agree that just putting computers in a classroom isnt going to accomplish a single thing. In fact, I dont think computers will help at all for students in middle school or below, except for maybe playing those educational games to get them motivated about learning, and also for just teaching the basics of how to use one(this is a mouse, this is where programs are... etc.) What needs to be done is to look at a computer the same way businesses have looked at computers- a tool- a tool to increase efficiency
    • Well, since I work at Pleasanton HS, I would LOVE to be paid more. But here's the thing: the school (apparently) can't afford textbooks for every child. They have to run to class after school for a chance to check one out. But apparently the school can afford the iBooks that no one will learn how to use. Great. I only hope they can atleast put .pdf files of their textbooks on the macs.

      The genious admin is also building a gymnasium twice the size of the high school. 9 million for that. What no one wa

  • by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Friday November 21, 2003 @02:09PM (#7529985)
    "Hi, it looks like you are trying to cheat..."
  • wouldn't that $2.2m over four years be better spent on books and teachers?

    Yes, but "high school spends $2.2m on teachers and books" wouldn't have gotten mentioned on /. (or in any other media source, for that matter.)

  • Most schools thrive on education grants from the government and other organization to help them fund programs. When a grant is received, it is to be spent on a particular field. I just granduated from a South Texas school (Los Fresnos High School, just north of Brownsville, west of South Padre) a couple years ago. The year before I started there, they had no technology on campus, there were 486s that were not connected to anything but power. We received a very large grant and bought countless computers, s
  • Um. So?

    Henrico County, Virginia, USA. Been there, done that. Hope you have a nice raincoat, you're going to get drenched..
  • As I said in a post that got moderated "Troll", it could be worse, I think that $2.2M mark is about the budjet for the school systems for the entire state of Florida.

    Now if you think this is a troll, you obviously know NOTHING of the Florida school systems - they are the worst in the country! I grew up in Michigan with excellent PUBLIC schools, the ones down here in Florida are an insult to this country's capabilities! I can give TONS of examples... most of which can be found with google.

    Don't believe me?

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?