Students Come First, Superintendent Luna’s attempt to ease in Common Core (see page 18), should have been a long gone memory by now. All three propositions were soundly defeated in a very bipartisan manner by a majority of Idaho citizens during the November 2012 election. Yet, even so, portions of these bills keep making their way back into our education system. Why??
Take for example the 1:1 student/computer ratios in Prop 3. Remember the talking point? Students need 21st century skills – which can only be gained by more time in front of a computer screen:
Otter and Luna said Tuesday the computers are critical to their vision
for transforming high school classrooms across the state, improving
student access to educational opportunities, preparing students for the
future and fulfilling a new online course mandate.
That’s what we were told. In fact, some Idaho teachers were even concerned that their role would soon be replaced by computers.
Then, just a little over a week before the election, Governor Otter announced from the Boise Hewlett-Packard campus that the California-based company had won the contract to provide the computers for Idaho students. This portion of Students Come First received the biggest beating being rejected by 66% of the voters. So, why are school districts, such as Middleton and Kuna, still finding themselves as the beneficiaries of a 1:1 student-computer ratio program? I think Supt. Luna inadvertently gave us the real reason those computers were needed during a State School Board meeting held on June 19th of this year. Listen for about 45 seconds
Did you hear that? Schools that had the 1:1 student-computer ratio had an easier time administering the 8-hour SBAC test. According to Supt. Luna, the real answer to the testing problem isn’t less testing, it’s to turn every classroom into a computer lab – at any cost… (As a side note, the Middleton School District received a grant for their new computers but nobody seems to have mentioned that the cost of maintenance and replacement now falls on the Middleton taxpayer’s shoulders)
So why are we giving a computer to every student even though the voters overwhelmingly rejected the idea? Because we have no local control, folks.
(Even if the real reason for the computers really was to better educational opportunities and student academic success, this article explains why even that is a poor reason.)