Group questions wisdom of dumping Macs in favor of HP Windows PCs in Boulder, CO schools

“Last November, voters approved Ballot Measure 3A, to provide ongoing funding for computers in the Boulder Valley School District, specifically providing for the replacement of computers every four years. The referendum passed by only 342 votes,” BVSDWatch.org (concerned Boulder Valley teachers, parents, volunteers, and taxpayers who wish to keep a watchful eye on the BVSD School Board and their activities) reports.

“At the January 24th BVSD board meeting, Robert Hammond, Chief Operations Officer, and Chris King, Deputy Superintendent, made it clear that the Superintendent’s Cabinet has decided to replace the district’s Macs with Hewlett Packard (HP) computers, running Microsoft Windows, over the next four years, with few exceptions,” BVSDWatch.org reports. “Currently 75% of the computers used in classrooms and computer labs are Macs. The goal, for them, is that only around 10% of the computers be Macs four years from now. No input was solicited from teachers, students, parents, or voiunteers, the people who this effects the most. Only HP was approached for a bid, the other BVSD approved vendors, Apple & Dell, were excluded from the bidding process.”

BVSDWatch.org provides a list of questions that concerned people can ask of the Boulder District Representatives and themselves and implores, “Contact your local district represenative (or as many as you like) and the Superintendant, and let them know how you feel about this decision. Get involved, now!”

Direct links to phone and email addresses, the full article, and an online poll, “Should BVSD Replace Macs with HP PCs?” (currently 92.9% “No”) are here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “Rainy Day” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Even students they go directly into the workforce from high school, eschewing higher education – now a greater possibility for Boulder public school students if this short-sighted, ill-advised switch goes through (see “Those who surf the Web using a Mac tend to be better educated and make more money than their PC-using counterparts, according to a report from Nielsen/NetRatings“) – they will likely not be using the operating system they learned in high school. Teach the concepts of computing, not the specifics, since that will result in students being well-rounded and knowing how to use any computer they will encounter. Schools should choose Macs whenever possible since they are easier and cheaper to maintain than Windows PCs. For related info: http://macvspc.info/

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Related MacDailyNews article:
Colorado’s Boulder Valley Schools to dump Macs, switch to Windows PCs – January 25, 2006

25 Comments

  1. <Only HP was approached for a bid, the other BVSD approved vendors, Apple & Dell, were excluded from the bidding process.>

    They have learned well from the current administrations “NO BID CONTRACTS”

  2. It sounds kinda fishy, not just that they’re replacing Macs, but only offering a bid for computers to HP, which isn’t one of their previously approved vendors. Sounds like someone needs to investigate the board’s motives for using HP. Some financial ties??

    http://www.g-zus.net/

  3. Let’s hope MDN readers are equally professional about sticking their nose into another town’s business. Offer helpful advice, not flames.

  4. Apparently you forgot your name and your brain. No-bid contracts have been around since Washington’s administration. No one “learned” it from the current one. Try thinking before writing. I voted, but I am sure that if word on this poll gets out and the numbers get ridiculous, this group of charlatans will dismiss it as reflective of Mac zealotry only, and not an indictment of their back-room dealing.

  5. I wonder how much of a backhander the guy in school got for going with HP.

    He probably has a ‘friend’ who works there.

    I would love to see his bank statements!

  6. Hey dufus – even *I* am smart enough to know that my boydriend gave a no bid contract to HALIBURTON for Bosnia. But hey – don’t let facts get in the way of the good internal hate fest you have going on there ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    And when wikipedia becomes a serious source of “facts” we are all in DEEP shit. The Wikipedia site is almost as much fun as the daily comics but truth is still not the equivalent of mass misconception.

  7. I think it’s wrong for MDN to post links to members of the school board on these sites for everyone to click. 99% of us don’t live in Boulder Valley and we shouldn’t be writing to their school district en masse to make it look like their is more outrage in their community than there actually is. If we want to send a courteous well written email to the board about why macs are a better decision for their schools, hopefully including points and facts that they haven’t yet considered, then that is fine.

    But I don’t think the school board is going to get a couple well written arguments. They are going to get a thousand angry flaming emails.

  8. R, NASA has solicted bids from public corporations since the moon shot. The no-bid contratcs have been reserved for Militray objectives which our lovely govt feel need to be awarded to a select secuirty-cleared few.

    In recent years a private space insudtry has emerged, they all do work for the govt under very competitve bids.

    As always Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely

    If you don’t like or agree wikipedia add your own information, thats the whole point!

  9. Yhe lets teach kids to sit an troubleshoot windows all days since thats most likely what they’ll be doing all day in the windows business world

    Perhaps there is a class called “watching your tech guy fix your pc while not being productive 101”

  10. No input was solicited from teachers, students, parents, or voiunteers, the people who this effects the most. Only HP was approached for a bid, the other BVSD approved vendors, Apple & Dell, were excluded from the bidding process.”
    Online poll, “Should BVSD Replace Macs with HP PCs?” (currently 92.9% “No”).

    Well imagine that? Typical higher management decision to wipe out everything that makes sense without asking imput from the people it effects the most! Let’s break something that isn’t broken. Let’s spend millions of dollars for no reason and replace pefectly good Mac systems with virus sucking spam eating PC crap that will cost more millions of dollars to fix. Add 20 personal from the 2 currently supporting the Macs just to support the PC’s with all the crap they get plus replace all the software that the teachers and students know well with who knows what? 93% say they don’t want it, I’m not surprised at all. I wonder who in the superintendent role is getting paid off by HP?

  11. “No input was solicited from teachers, students, parents, or voiunteers, the people who this effects the most”.

    The above is why people should be concerned. Why didn’t they go to the teachers, students, and parents and announce there plans and have them express there concerns with switching before going forward?

    Doesn’t the people who use the tools deserve the right to have some say in this matter?

    If you are an auto mechanic and I as your manager come up to you and say oh by the way were taking all of your tools away from you today. Here are the stone knives and bear skins you will work with from now on. How do you think that mechanic might feel or react?

    Seems like common sense was left out here somewhere.

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