Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Posted by Jeff Solochek  to Tampa Bay Times Gradebook | http://bit.ly/117THIi

2:30:51 pm on January 28, 2013  ::  The days of all-computerized state testing are fast approaching for Florida schools. The push toward digital textbooks and instructional materials also is moving quickly.

But many schools built more than five years ago lack the infrastructure to make the move. They don't have adequate electrical wiring or internet Wi-Fi capability to handle the load.

The Florida Board of Education has proposed a 2013-14 budget of $441.8 million to outfit schools with internet bandwidth, wireless capacity and other technology tools. There's some talk in Tallahassee that the request will get serious consideration among lawmakers, who already have been asked by Gov. Rick Scott to give all full-time classroom teachers a $2,500 raise.

"We've got to put resources in that area" of technology, said Sen. John Legg, chairman of the Education Policy committee and a member of the Education Appropriations committee. "The Senate proposal we're putting together is pretty aggressive to do that."

He expected a bill to emerge in the next few weeks that will look at a two-year plan to improve schools' computer capabilities. The bill also will include other overarching issues including more closely connecting education standards to college and employment demands.

Legg told the Gradebook that he hoped to keep the discussion tightly focused on "real reform" such as these ideas, with a longer-range impact, and away from politically-tinged diversions

"It's my desire to get these long-term policy initiatives up and out early in session," he said, noting that some heated debate could surround the proposals. "It's my desire not to get distracted."


Dr. Steven Krashen writes in in SchoolsMatter | http://bit.ly/11af5RV

Florida Boondoggle

28 January | The Florida Board is eager to spend nearly a half billion dollars to buy and set up equipment primarily so that children can take tests online.

There is zero research support for this kind of testing program. Nor is there any demand for a pilot study to be done.

As soon as the equipment is set up, it will be declared obsolete.

It will not improve student performance, so a more full-proof and expensive computer system will be developed.

The result: A permanent boondoggle, an ever-increasing drain on the budget that will profit only testing and computer companies.

2cents smf Worth noting:

        • This initiative + funding is coming from the State of Florida, NOT the local school districts.
        • Common Core State Standards (and Testing) is NOT  a Federal Program (that would be illegal …so federal funding would probably be also) – is theoretically a combined state initiative – though it was really dreamed up by testing companies and the education non-profit foundations (®eform, Inc/Billionaire Boys Club, etc.).
        • The word “hardwire” implies that wireless is not being considered. There is controversy over wireless in LAUSD over microwave exposure to students and staff. And, absent this, because of Florida’s unique geography – being a swamp with ground water and ground level being the same level: wiring and electrical grounding is always an issue – one would presume wireless would be the first consideration.
        • Note the proposed $441.8 million expense for all of Florida is less than the proposed $500 million for LAUSD – though the Florida budget does NOT include the digital platforms (laptops/tablets/e-readers or desktop computers.

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