Huckleberries Online

FLS: Laptop In Every Locker? C'mon

Fat Lady Sings: Laptops for every student? Really? What happens when students (who lack supervision and/or the presence of positive role models or who trip on a rock) damage, destroy or pawn their laptops? How is the laptop replaced? What is the turn around time? What happens if the student misses a test as a result of not having access to their laptop? Who will provide IT services for the students? What happens if the student’s parent/s lose a job and cannot afford the internet connection and the service is shut off by the provider? And a 100 other what-if questions that are not even far fetched … what then? It’s an administrative and financial nightmare. (Full comment below)

Question: What do you think of Tom Luna's plan to provide a laptop to every high school freshman -- and then expect that freshman to learn and take care of that laptop?

I’m a college educated Coeur d’Alene native. Born and raised right here. I am a conservative. I am not a teacher. I am not a fan of unions. I am not narrow minded. I vote for candidates based on individual merit. Sometimes republican and sometimes democrat. In fact I’ve campaigned for both. I don’t like labels. I like ideas. I like community. I’ve worked for the past 4 years without a raise because my employer cannot afford it and I don’t complain because I’m damn thankful to have my job.

I don’t like what is happening in Boise. Bills that may eliminate Idaho’s eligibility to receive federal medicaid dollars, bills that censor the internet at the library, bills that allow contracted teachers to be eliminated…notice I did not use the word tenure because tenure is not allowed in Idaho. I don’t believe that districts will keep teachers at higher paygrades when they need to make budget each year and two starter teachers can be hired at the same price as a long-term teacher because the good of the many outweighs the good of the one or the few.

Laptops for every student? Really? What happens when students (who lack supervision and/or the presence of positive role models or who trip on a rock) damage, destroy or pawn their laptops? How is the laptop replaced? What is the turn around time? What happens if the student misses a test as a result of not having access to their laptop? Who will provide IT services for the students? What happens if the student’s parent/s lose a job and cannot afford the internet connection and the service is shut off by the provider? And a 100 other what-if questions that are not even far fetched…what then? It’s an administrative and financial nightmare.

If a bill is going to be passed to encourage online learning perhaps the legislators could instead pass and fund a bill to provide technology reimbursement incentives for students who enroll in online classes and pass with a 3.0 or higher…if we are going to lean toward a system that rewards on merit then let’s do so for students as well…since that is how the real world works…pay for performance.

I do not like a govenor who I believe to be the most out of touch governor Idaho’s citizens have seen in my lifetime. Solons Barbieri and Sims puzzle me. Hart is a public embarrassment.

I am resigned to the apparent current legislative session trend that passionate arguments outweigh evidence, legal opinion and common sense. I am weary of politicans, posturing and unkept promises.




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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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