Cobb County school officials intend to move forward with Apple iBook program

“Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens’ admonishment to slow down a controversial new laptop computer program disappointed school officials Wednesday, although Olens said his comments did not mean he opposed the program,” Kristina Torres and Richard Whitt report for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “School officials said they still intend to move forward.”

“Olens made the admonishment Tuesday in a letter to the editor of a local newspaper, which the newspaper cited as opposition to the program. But on Wednesday Olens said, ‘I’m not trying to get involved in a ‘who’s right’ argument because I’m not an expert in that area.’ School board members on a 4-2 vote last week approved the first phase of the program, which eventually could distribute 63,000 Apple iBook laptops to all county teachers and all students in grades 6-12,” Torres and Whitt report.

“The public, however, has been divided about the program’s worth. The Marietta Daily Journal has repeatedly criticized the program. Olens said the debate had become too emotional because of what he characterized as personal attacks coming from board members, some members of the press and the public,” Torres and Whitt report.

Full article here.

There’s also more on this subject in an article today from The Marietta Journal here.

MacDailyNews Take: We sense a growing determination in Cobb County to beat back the rubes. If this saga ever ends and the kids get their iBooks, we sure as hell hope the sensible grownups have a plan for using the technology well instead of squandering it. This thing has gotten off to such a ridiculous start that we fear their first move after taking shipment would probably be to pave the county’s sidewalks with iBooks.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Cobb Commission chief urges delay in Apple iBook program, says issue has become too emotional – April 20, 2005
No conflict of interest in ongoing Cobb County Apple iBook saga – April 19, 2005
More controversy in Atlanta-area school district’s plan to buy Apple iBooks – April 16, 2005
Cobb County Georgia approves first phase of plan that could equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – April 15, 2005
Atlanta-area school district on verge of deal for 31,000 Apple iBooks – April 12, 2005
Cobb teachers voice concerns over using Macs for proposed laptop program – March 29, 2005
Cobb County Georgia meeting discusses plan to equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – February 24, 2005
Report: 90 percent of emails opposed to Georgia’s Apple iBook program – February 10, 2005
65,000 Apple iBooks for Georgia schools one of the largest school laptop programs in the country – February 10, 2005
Georgia school district to propose 63,000 Macs for students and teachers – February 07, 2005


  1. I have to agree with MDN on this one, R. I’ve been reading this story as it has unfolded over the last few months, and I just keep shaking my head in disbelief reading about the plain old goofed up nature of this program. The kids should come first. I understand money is a priority, but Apple wasn’t the only company to place bids to the school system, and they seemed to have won. They should move this thing forward and get the teachers and students their laptops and get on with it. In the long run, it’s the kids that should benefit from this program.

  2. Sad and more sad…

    1. “R” is right about MDN’s name calling.

    2. It has nothing to do with iBooks or Apple, but about the sad state of our educational system and how politics is more important to most adults than their children’s quality of education. From federal funding to local distribution of those funds, children are only part of the equation as a guise of good intentions to hide the deeper selfish true motivations of the greedy. The US system of government, from top to bottom, totally sucks when it comes to really caring. The best government money can buy… and does.

  3. MDN’s take is generally right. “Rubes” isn’t. Note MDN’s problem with the label of Mac Cult. Same thing. A tad disengenuous, I think.

    I only say that because I like this site and the analysis. Name calling just seems so unnecessary.

  4. …but there are ‘rubes’ anywhere you go in the US, from Alaska to Key West, and the Outer Banks to Hawaii. It’s not a phenomenon tied solely to the South… Which explains the widespread proliferation of NASCAR tracks, Wal-Mart, and Little Debbie snack cakes!

    From Princeton’s WordNet 2.0:


    n : not very intelligent or interested in culture [syn: yokel, hick, yahoo, hayseed, bumpkin, chawbacon]

    I’ve lived all over this great country, from small towns that count their population in the hundreds to major metropolitan areas. And I never fail to run into my share of the uncultured, the untutored and the unwashed.

  5. To the residents of Cobb County ….

    Should this iBook program ever get off the ground… you won’t regret it ….

    You will discover that the Apple iBooks.. will have no compatibility issues, and will, in the long run be a much less investment, (money-wise) than a choice of a Win-Tel counterpart would be…

    Plus, the added bonus of not having to worry about securing anti-virus, anti spyware and other anti malware programs to keep the machines healthy….

    Not only that, but if keeping your kids safe on the internet is your main concern… then keep in mind … Freeverse Software has an excellent Parental Control Web Browser which can be installed on the iBook .. (at a nominal cost) … which can help to protect your children from viewing questionable material online…

    You can find this Web Browser .. Right Here

    My only concern would be the durability of an iBook .. in the hands of a 6th Grader … But, that concern aside … I am quite sure that after the fear and controversey subsides, the citizens, as well as the kids … will enjoy their Apple iBooks and will benefit immeasurably from making such a choice…

  6. Hey пустая головка — Get off your high horse.

    Maybe those “rubes” in Cobb County are exercising their rights under American law to challenge what their government is proposing. Seems like a system that’s working to me. But just as with any system, the uneducated among them must be tolerated and maybe, ohhh, I don’t know, perhaps . . . POLITELY EDUCATED on the subject.

    Like the fat man* said: “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.”

    And as I previously quoted a borderline psycho/great actor** in another thread, to you I say: “Go sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here.”

    ( *= Winston Churchill; **= Jack Nicholson)

  7. *clutches head in pain, “this shit again?”*

    Look, Cobb County – shit or get off the pot. I personally favor the plan, but I don’t live there and I’m not paying for it. But Geeze Louise… make up your damned minds, OK? You seem to have 4-2 favoring it. If it’s a simple majority needed, let it go. If you need 2/3rds, fine; perhaps there’s one swing vote. But I think it’s 50%…?

  8. Thanks to the ‘Cobbsters’, I no longer have to Tivo “As The World Turns” to get my daily fix of soap opera. Now I just tune into what I lovingly call “As The Rubes Turn”


    But seriously MDN, go easy on the name calling.


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