The below letter to the Editor was written by Marianne Gasiecki of Mansfield Tea Party Patriots.
School districts spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on technology, sometimes into the millions. We are continually told how important it is that our districts have the latest and greatest technology, that each child has an iPad.
I disagree, strongly.
With the birth of technology in our schools I see children that can no longer add without a calculator, cannot sign their own name because they’ve forgotten cursive, cannot spell because they have Spellcheck, cannot lose themselves in a book because it’s not on some hand held device. I see children who cannot create a presentation without “downloading a template”, teachers that cannot guide students in reading selections unless they refer to algorithms on a computer. I see classrooms filled with children sitting at computers, and teachers sitting in the corner. Wouldn’t it be great if we spent that money on teachers who love to teach?
Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way.
The chief technology officer of eBay and employees of other Silicon giants such as Apple, Google and Yahoo, send their children to schools where there is not a computer to be found, literally. They are not allowed in classrooms and their use at home is frowned upon.
Why? Simple. Computers restrict creative thinking and human interaction. Attention spans are shortened, therefore limiting problem-solving abilities.
The one thing all this technology is good for is data collection, and that’s where Common Core Standards tie it up in a nice little bow. Common Core testing through PARCC and Smarter Balanced begins in the next school year, and is the vehicle for nationwide student data collection, academic and nonacademic.
Parents have the right to opt out of this testing, and should insist the state establish an alternative form of testing, if at all. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Prior to the adoption of Common Core, Massachusetts and Indiana consistently ranked as having the top schools in the country. Those pre-Common Core standards and assessments can be adopted, at no cost. But maybe that’s the problem. There’s no money to be made in that sensible scenario.