President Obama will unveil his technology plan for American education today in Mooresville, North Carolina.
Joy Resmovits reports on Huffington Post:
“President Barack Obama imagines a country where teachers know what’s happening in their students’ brains.
“He wants “teachers to have an ability to assess learning hour by hour and day by day,” a senior White House official said Wednesday. “That vision … is really not possible with the connectivity we have today.”
“That’s why on Thursday Obama will speak at a school in Mooresville, N.C., to unveil an initiative that aims to give 99 percent of America’s public schools high-speed connectivity over the next five years.”
Mooresville has won national attention because it provided laptop computers to every student in fourth grade and above, and its graduation rate shot up. The superintendent says there were other reasons for the increased graduation rate.
A few things about North Carolina: the Democratic Party held its 2012 National Convention there. It is a right-to-work state. The state spending on public education is 48th in the nation. Teachers’ salaries are 46th in the nation. Legislation introduced this spring by the president pro tem of the state senate would strip teachers of all tenure rights. At the same time that the legislature is attacking the pay and tenure of career educators, it allocated $6 million to hire inexperienced Teach for America teachers. The legislature also plans to expand the number of charters, free of conflict of interest regulations, free of diversity requirements, and free to hire uncertified teachers.
Technology is a wonderful thing, and all schools should be connected to the Internet.
But I would respectfully suggest to President Obama that there are far larger issues he should tackle right now, like defending the very existence of a teaching profession, defending academic freedom of educators, supporting the nation’s public schools, resisting privatization, and helping states provide equality of educational opportunity, with enough resources to meet the essential needs of students.