Reply to Will McCubbins

Posted: May 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

Charles Hughes

 Mr. McCubbins makes some excellent points in his Letter to the Editor, such as Rowan County’s high rate of poverty being a major factor in holding back many of its students; Apple may well be the instigator pushing iPads and Air Laptops; the school system may be throwing away millions of dollars. He lists even more arguments against the ipad/laptop proposal, however, other than the poverty issue, they are all just as unproven as is the argument that ipads and laptops will be the golden egg that fills our education gap.


The only absolutes on either side of this argument are: The school system cannot resolve the impoverishment equation; money cannot buy effective teachers; schools cannot instill lasting values if the parent or parents do not support the effort during the 133 hours a week their wards are not in school. The last and the most important absolute is that if we don’t try something different nothing will improve.                                           


I had reservations on the wisdom of voting for this project. I was very concerned about iPads being sent home with young children, preferring to limit K-7 use to the classroom.  I raised my eyebrows at the need to provide computers for teachers to use outside the classroom. I winced at a $10.5 million dollar, three year “experiment”, especially if it didn’t obtain the results we hoped for. However, after being assured that no “new money” was at risk, I decided to vote for the project as a whole rather than to piecemeal it. Besides, the Wright brothers invested a lot in what many considered to be a ridiculous idea at the time. How did that work out?


I do not know how others view this enterprise, but I see it as a three-year experiment, an expensive one for sure, yet one that can be terminated if the flying machine doesn’t get off the ground.

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