“Some Foster High School teachers are balking at the idea that the school board could refuse to let them accept $43,000 worth of new computers the school was recently awarded through a grant program,” reports Nora Doyle for The King County Journal.
Doyle continues, “Earlier this year, teacher Jeff Heiman applied for a grant from a nonprofit organization offering 30 new Macintosh computers and six laser printers to a school in an economically challenged community. The Tukwila School District, with a high number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, fits the bill.”
“Heiman thought he had found an answer. When he found out in May that Foster won the grant, the math teacher was elated. The extra computers would give the students he’ll teach next year daily access to a computer, which they need, he said,” reports Doyle.
“But according to the school technology plan created in 2000, Tukwila schools will move toward using only personal computers, not the Macintosh, for financial reasons, Superintendent Michael Silver said. The district has a six-person technology department staffed with people expert in PCs, Silver added. Having only PCs allows the district to better maintain, repair and replace computers in a cost-effective way, he said,” Doyle reports.
“It’s silly to turn down the offer of free Macs when the school district has to provide technical support for the Macs already at the high school, said Heiman, who said he didn’t know about the Mac rule in the technology plan when he applied for the grant,” Doyle writes. “‘My job as a teacher is to do everything I can to improve the education of kids. In my professional judgment, we need these computers,’ he said. The superintendent said the district should stick to its plan. ‘At this point … going with one platform for a small school district seems most prudent,’ Silver said. The matter will be discussed at tonight’s school board meeting, when Heiman said he and other teachers will ask the board for a one-time exception to the technology-plan rule prohibiting new Macs.”
“‘In a time of serious budget crunches in the schools, for them to turn down a gift of $43,000 just seems asinine … Policy is a nice idea, but reality is that they’re going to have Macs and they might as well take the free ones when they can get them,’ he said. A school board decision on the new computers is not expected at tonight’s meeting,” Doyle reports.
“A caveat of the technology plan allows teachers to keep their Macs at their desks instead of getting a PC if they wish. In addition, the library and a graphics classroom can keep their Macs,” Doyle reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: While we realize that Tukwila is an economically-challenged School District and might have a hard time attracting the very best and brightest, but that does not grant license for their six-person technology department and Superintendent Michael Silver to be complete fools. Perhaps Superintendent Michael Silver would like to hear your reasoned thoughts regarding this matter? His email address is: email@example.com. We already sent him this link: http://macvspc.info/