This bill should have been called the "Justification of gratuitous
technology purchases, by loosely tying it to education modernization
act."I am so relieved that the Senate understood that this pet
project of the Speaker was entirely made of pork, and had nothing to do with
educating our children. Can you imagine how many teachers $750 million could
have purchased? Speaker Lockhart would have been a hero for conservative and
liberal alike. Funding even $27 million in teacher hires would have been a huge
win. We also know that there is solid data behind the idea that more teachers
makes a huge difference. So why pick a tablet over a teacher? Is it because
hiring a teacher is somehow thought of as increasing the number of government
employees? I don't know. This whole thing makes so little sense to me its
kind of like trusing a school teacher to care for a patient in the hospital...
or vice versa?
Sometimes I doubt we have the deliberative muscle in our legislature to actually
consider policy, needs, rational laws, and practical issues of governance.
Viewing expensive technology as the magic bullet for education is a questionable
assumption to begin with. But the scale of Lockhart's $300 million
proposal politically distorted the funding and policy-making processes in public
education, excluded most stake holders and pointedly ignored various pressing
needs that should also be addressed. Now that her technology initiative has
been mercifully put to rest let's get to work addressing reduced or
stagnant salaries of recent years, declining music and art programs, support
services and staff for special needs students, issues with class size, and
long-delayed physical facilities maintenance? Let's focus on what public
education really can be for us in Utah, and not the distractions of the latest
shiny techno objects and self-serving corporate lobbying.
I had to check Ms. Lockhart's profile, because I was sure for a moment
there was a "D" after her name!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting this sinking ship slip away...
Smaller class will never happen, its inefficient use of space and it brings in
millions of dollars less in federal dollars per school. Lockhart's bill is
another extreme overhead cost that will reduce quality of education. Every time a school has reasonable sized teacher friendly classes they shut
the schools down. Its a per pupil cost calculation, the more students in a
school the cheaper it is in cost per pupil overhead.Utah is stuck on
this per pupil spending and funding concept and it is destroying the quality of
education. Its all per pupil and its the worst concept that educaiton has
adopted as a standard. Per pupil requires minimal supplies and underpaid
teachers are the most cost effective for a corporate education systems to
justify CEO's pay.The board of education looks at education as
a commodity they can sell to profit from by allocating more of the taxes for
investments as if they owned the money. Instead of a free education system, they
have to create a profit from what they are allocated. Utah has billions of
education tax funds gambling in stock market that should be going to students
and quality education.
She wanted to raise property taxes to fund this fiasco by up to 300 million, yet
she is against taking money allocated to expanding Medicaid that would benefit
thousands without a tax increase? Go figure. What is wrong with this scene?
Governor Herbert needs to show leadership and accept the money. If not it will
go to other states. Be a leader instead of pandering to the Tea Party rhetoric.
People in this State are overwhelmingly in support of helping our fellow poorer
working class citizens.
Hallelujah! (with all due respect to Handel. . .) I'm very glad this crazy
idea got struck down. And I'm a teacher. The idea of providing all students
with tablets and keeping them up and running is insane. To say nothing of the
point that technology "just to be the coolest kids on the block" is
useless if it doesn't serve a real educational need. It would be far better
to increase the number of computer lab aide positions so that we would have an
extra body in there to troubleshoot and keep the kids working on more useful
projects that can be done on a regular computer. A real computer is much more
useful to students for research, keyboarding practice, and production of
content-based projects. It is very hard for one teacher to keep everything going
with a whole roomful of elementary school kids on computers.
I have a set cart of 16 laptops in my classroom. The students use them when
needed. These laptops are now 7 years old. I keep them clean and manage the
student accounts on them. I keep the software updated and running smoothly. I
know there is no money to replace them so I make sure they are treated well. If
the school had about 5 of these carts, that would be enough for our needs.
Maybe even one per department would be nice.I can't even begin
to imagine what a mess it would have been to give every student an iPad.
Constant breakage, loss, etc. would have been a nightmare to manage.We do need more money for technology in the schools but someone up there on
the hill should really take a good poll of actual teachers to see what is needed
and wanted. I'm glad Mrs. Lockhart had her heart in the right place. Now
if we can just get a reasonable proposal, the students will benefit.
I've had my ipad for about 18 months. It's gradually slowing and
cutting out. These things don't last for long, Ms. Lockhart.
Get more teachers and smaller classrooms. You'll get better education.
I am glad our legislators didn't let this one through. Anyone who has
bought new technological equipment knows how quickly it becomes obsolete. There
are much better places to put education dollars than into something that will be
worthless in a few years. How about using that money to hire more qualified
teachers and reduce class sizes?
In 1983, a presidential commission under Ronald Reagan investigated the failing
school system and released the Nation at Risk report at its end, stating that if
any country had done to use what we have done to our educational system we would
have gone to war. Since then we have had the GOP No Child Left Behind (that Utah
could not get out of fast enough), UPASS, Democrat's Race to the Top, and
now Becky Lockhart's $300 million buy-them-tablets idea. All have been red
herrings from the get-go.Educational initiatives in the past 50
years have gone nowhere while the world has changed with manufacturing jobs
leaving and high tech jobs expanding (look at the billboards on I-15). For all
you young people out there looking for jobs and careers, here's a little
advice: Your elders no not what they are doing. You are on your own. Build your
own education and find your own way. We are out of ideas and wouldn't know
how to implement a good one if it fell on us.
Bonding?!? To put tablets in every classroom that will need to be replaced
every 3 to 5 years? OK, what happened to our fiscally responsible legislature?