Superintendent forcing move from Mac to Windows due to retire before effects hit home

Back on September 15th we reported that Pinellas County Florida schools were forcing the migration from Mac to Windows PC. The directive came from Pinellas County superintendent Howard Hinesley, who wants to the district to use one type of computer instead of two. At last count, of 50,465 computers, laptops and servers, 34,538 of them came from Apple. Hinesley made the decison without even telling the district’s own director of technology and sought no input from parents and teachers. Now it has been reported that Hinesley is a short-timer, due to retire before the costs of switching from Macs to PCs will ever affect his job, the school system, teachers and students.

“Hinesley, who is retiring late next year, answered that had he opened the process, debate would have gone on for two years. ‘That’s what would have happened. And we’d have had 95 percent of the users that have PCs that are parents saying, ‘What are you taking so long?’ those that use Macintoshes saying, ‘I prefer Macintosh, let’s keep both,’ and those that wanted PCs saying, ‘Let’s go PCs. And guess what would have happened? They’d have looked at me and said, ‘Well, Hinesley just put that on the back burner and didn’t deal with it,'” Richard Bockman reports for The St. Petersberg Times. “No, he said, it’s wrong to fake it, to pretend to take input. The superintendent is charged with deciding, he made the best choice for the district, end of story.”

Hinesley “said he never sent board members any written information before he announced his decision Sept. 4. He said he informed them orally, during a July 28 workshop. The meeting ran some 5 1/2 hours. During the morning session, members faulted Hinesley for a ‘pattern’ of communicating poorly with them. After discussing whether to move to the next agenda item or break early for lunch, Hinesley said he had something to bring to the board members’ attention. The discussion lasted 45 seconds. Hinesley never used the words computer or classroom, Apple or Macintosh.”

You have to read the transcription of Hinesley supposedly orally informing the school board near the end of the article. Full article here.

This forced migration from Mac to Windows has prompted at least one derisive article from The St. Petersberg Times so far.

MacDailyNews Take: Something smells bad in Pinellas County. Are the Wintel box assemblers now targeting soon-to-retire superintendents who won’t have to take the heat when their decision to ditch Macs and move to Windows PCs proves more costly than ill-informed school board members will be able to fathom? The Pinella County School Board are as follows:
Howard Hinesley – Superintendent of Schools – super@pinellas.k12.fl.us
Mary Russell
Nancy Bostock
Jane Gallucci
Linda Lerner
Mary Brown
Lee Benjamin
Carol Cook

The Board can be reached en masse via email here: Board@pcsb.org

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Pinellas County Florida schools forces migration from Mac to PC – September 15, 2003
Pinellas County migration from Mac to PC faces derision – September 17, 2003

17 Comments

  1. Something smells bad in Florida? What’s new? This is the same stinkin’ bog that gave the Supreme Court an excuse to appoint a former cocaine-addict drunken stooge to the residency of the White House. Let the swamp-rats have their PCs. Who needs ’em.

  2. yeah, read the article:

    In the mid 1990s, Lakewood was 100 percent Mac. Lou Zulli Jr., who manages the center’s computers, considered the Mac excellent by itself but deficient at working in a network. He recommended switching to PCs. The center’s teachers heard from Apple, then voted for PCs.

    Today at Lakewood they count 1,482 PCs and 11 Macs, and word is, friends don’t let friends do Macs.

    “Since we’ve done it,” Zulli said, “our teachers are 100 percent more productive, our students have soared in what they’ve been able to do. They’ve won all kind of awards in multimedia presentations in what is supposed to be Apple’s domain.”

    Lakewood included teachers in reaching its decision; the district did not. Zulli said democracy doesn’t work districtwide.

    “The worst possible thing to make decisions about technology is to do it by committee,” he said. “Technology decisions always should be top-down. It may be unpopular, but it works. You get more for your money, because you’re not spending on redundant systems and redundant software.”

    Mac users, he said, have “an irrational love of a system” that Apple marketed as the alternative to the Orwellian world, morphed into Mac as the non-Bill Gates.

    “This is the great Satan,” Zulli said, rapping a PC in mock horror. “Dammit, it’s a tool, it’s a better tool, and it’s a more pervasive tool.” He gets off his soapbox.

    “I absolutely am going to get crucified by my teaching brethren for saying this, I’m going to be a pariah. But it’s the truth.”

    Oh, I meant read it and weep………..

  3. Bomb:
    Nothing you said has any relevance whatsoever to the article at hand. Leave your Bush fetish at your end of the keyboard.

    This story is interesting, but for MDN to infer Hinesley might be retiring because a wintel company might target a superintendent in his last days or because he might know of some impending financial trouble due to his decision is asinine and simply full of speculation.

    This is not Mac news. It’s Pinella County School District news. Please don’t assail the school board members with e-mails just because you’ve been given their e-mail addresses here. Unless you have a rational, articulate and well thought out message to send them, bombarding them with trollmail will simply serve to reaffirm in their own minds the decision they have made.

    Many school districts are moving to Macs as articles on MDN have shown. Not every single one in the country is going to, however, no matter how bad we all wish they would. This is a battle lost. Let it be until the next opportunity presents itself.

    In the end this is just low grade McCarthyism. How about presenting a compelling reason for the position being taken, containing some factual evidence. Maybe he’s retiring because he’s old and worked for a long time? Maybe he’s found a better opportunity? Maybe he was the second gunman on the grassy knoll?

  4. people make bad decisions all the time…it’s part of life. If some school wants to go all PC, fine…they were voted in on the school board, they get to make the decisions…if it were a huge deal, then next time they’d vote some Mac lover in…but it’s not.

    I say let them go PC. They’ll get the next big Windoze virus and be screwed. Then maybe they’ll reconsider for the next time they buy.

    To give their email addresses on this site, encouraging people to email them, is foolish, MDN. I say remove the email addresses. These people are making decisions based on their constituents’ wants, not a bunch of Mac lovers who think they know what’s best. Why bother them? Macs and OSX may be the best (I certainly think so) but it’s not up to you or I to decide what kind of computers people should buy…we can make the issue visible in the public domain, yell from rooftops on how great Macs are, keep websites and news sites on how awesome the Mac platform is…but there’s no need to go after a private citizen and flood their inbox with overzealous Mac love that won’t sway them anyway.

    Take the email addresses off, MDN. Report the news, don’t be a part of it.

  5. Something stinks in Florida? no kidding, and I am not talking about the swamp land.

    GWB promises to keep up the pressure on Cuba, ex-Cuban whingers in Florida rejoice, and vote Jed Bush back in as governor. Why are people surprised. Thank goodness Iraq isn’t going to make the same mistake by having the same sort of political system the US has. Hopefully they will go with the tried and trusted Westminster Parliamentry system where by the prime minister and government are held to account every day in parliament.

  6. “Hopefully they will go with the tried and trusted Westminster Parliamentry system where by the prime minister and government are held to account every day in parliament.”

    And they can invite Saddam back to be Queen ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  7. TO THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT POORLY CRAFTED EMAILS REACHING THE BOARD MEMBERS, PERHAPS YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS BEFORE I SEND IT:

    Dear Board Members,

    I live in the Great Britain, but I was horrified to hear the news item about your forced migration to 100% Windows PC�s.

    I have been a computer user for over 20 years, and a Mac user for at least 17 of those years.

    My business runs on both Mac�s and PC�s and they work in harmony together without any trouble.

    In my wide experience of customers and friends, people who use Macs tend to be more creative and receptive to ideas and change than their PC orientated counterparts.

    Even one of my ex-work colleagues, who was ALL-PC, took an old Mac home to play with, because they intrigued him.

    You should carefully consider what this directive will do to your younger generations� growth and natural abilities. Taking away freedom of choice and giving in return what is considered good enough, is a communist principle. Surely in today�s democratic world there is no room for this sort of oppressive tactic.

    What is on the agenda of Howard Hinsley? By making this decision without a consultation process how can he be relied upon to have thought of every angle, and indeed whose best interests is he concerned about?

    Regards,

  8. “These people are making decisions based on their constituents’ wants, not a bunch of Mac lovers who think they know what’s best. Why bother them?”

    Welfaremike, please read the article. Or at least the last section which details the information presented to the Board members to support the decision. A decision NOT made by the Board members themselves.

  9. “These people are making decisions based on their constituents’ wants, not a bunch of Mac lovers who think they know what’s best. Why bother them?”

    Welfaremike, please read the article. Or at least the last section which details the information presented to the Board members to support the decision. A decision NOT made by the Board members themselves.

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