San Antonio school board to vote today on taking away students’ Apple iBooks

“Six months ago, Pleasanton High became the only school in the San Antonio area to give all its students a wireless laptop computer. The school board could vote today, however, to take them away. Frank Persyn, vice president of the school board, has proposed reconsidering the district’s four-year contract with Apple. District officials say they aren’t sure why,” Diana Reinhart reports for San Antonio Express-News. “Pleasanton’s $2.2 million contract with Apple allows the district to pay for the wireless laptops over four years. The contract includes laptops for the high school’s teachers and 950 students, training for staff, and supporting equipment such as printers and projectors.”

“‘I wasn’t consulted,’ Superintendent Alton Fields said. ‘I haven’t been told why it was put on (the agenda) or what their intent is.’ What’s clear, however, is that the board’s membership has changed considerably since the wireless project was approved in September by a 5-2 vote. Back then, the majority of the board wanted the high school to go wireless, but the current board, which was elected in May, appears less enthusiastic about the advance,” Reinhart reports.

“Persyn could not be reached for comment Monday. But as one of the two members who voted against the project last year, there is speculation he may now have the support he needs to kill the wireless venture. Two board members who supported the laptops were defeated in the May election, and another resigned. Today’s board meeting will be the first for the new members,” Reinhart reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Something unpleasant going down in Pleasanton? We’ll keep an eye on this one. It’ll be interesting to see if the board is anti-computer or anti-Apple; we’ll know for sure if they sign a contract in the future with, say, Dell.

22 Comments

  1. Public education in Texas is a joke, and every educator in the other 49 States knows it. Texas public schools were (past-tense) destroyed by the TAAS and by the unforgiveable things that the schools had to do in order to keep their scores up. Including but not limited to, coaxing kids that weren’t going to score highly, to drop out of school (and go for their GED) before testing time. And that’s just the start of it.

    This has all been documented, do your homework (on non-propaganda sites), then come back and try again…

  2. “I think the difference in pass rates are primarily due to what Jonathan Kozol calls the ‘savage inequalities’ that persist in our educational system,” said Haney, acting director for the Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Educational Policy in Boston. “There are huge savage inequalities reamaining in the educational system in Texas.”

    The “savage inequalities” in the educational system stem from IQ differences in the students: White mean IQ 100, Mexican mean IQ 90, Black mean IQ <85. No amount of spending can increase the IQ which is largely genetic ( circa 80% or more ). Also consider that Jewish mean IQ is reported between 107 and 115 and North Asian ( Chinese and Japanese ) mean IQ is between 104 and 107. Are not the Jews and North Asians doing just fine in school?

  3. So, the school board stalled last night. They want to see the contract and meet again next week. There’s a lot more involved than just the laptops. The school also got a complete wireless network, 3 Xserves, network printers, digital cameras and camcorders, digital microscopes, and the list goes on. The largest concern is that if the contract is broken, they won’t be able to replace what they loose. If they rip out the network, what ‘cha gonna use for the ugly PCs that remain?

  4. Atlantin,

    You’re not serious, are you? Where did you dig up this ridiculous trash? If you’ve ever taken an IQ test, you should realize that the result will be very strongly influenced by the quality of your education. The whole concept of IQ as independent of education is ridiculous. Your implication that economically disadvantaged minorities suffer lower educational achievement due to some genetic factor is nothing but a case of blaming the victim. Next you’ll be telling us that women who get raped are natural victims because they have higher hormone levels or something. Give us a break.

  5. Here’s one for you, regarding the San Antonio bean counters. The good folks at SBC have decided that the graphics side of the company, publishing, should get rid of the Macs with Photoshop, Illistrator & Quark & go to a PC with Freehand & Photoshop. It must be a Texas thing, I guess

  6. Majikthize,

    While in High School, in Texas!… yes, thats right, I got hammered by some black guy because I wouldn’t give him the answers to a test while in class. He said I was “prejudiced”. Go figure!… I wanted him to learn and figure out the problems himself. Even was willing to help him out later…but NOOOOooo! . Give me what I want now and forget about the “lernnin”. It was all shucking and jiving so he could skate through life. And you know what?… Most of his buddies were exactly the same. I’m not saying they couldn’t learn. They just didn’t give a damn. On the flip side were plenty of hard working minorites who were tops in class. No excuses there.

    I suspect that the tax payers felt it was an awful lot of money to piss away on machines for students who can’t even spell. Penmanship has died with a keyboard. Also think that the school district IT folks probably wanted to torpedo any initiative that broke ranks with the MicroSloth Collective.

  7. The computers weren’t leased from Apple, they were purchased with no discount given for the volume of computers bought. Furthermore, children were stealing them from others, and destroying the ones they had. Name another school district in Texas (or anywhere else) which GIVES a laptop to all of their students?

    It is rumored that the past board got paybacks from Apple for the sweetheart deal.

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