Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Clearly, School District Administrators Disagree

Joanne tells us what everyone who's not a school administrator or a tech salesperson already knows:
Technology won’t close the achievement gap, writes psychologist Susan Pinker in the New York Times. “Showering students, especially those from struggling families, with networked devices” could widen the class divide, she warns.

In the early 2000s, nearly one million disadvantaged middle-school students were given networked computers. There was “a persistent decline in reading and math scores,” concluded a multi-year study by Duke economists. “What’s worse, the weaker students (boys, African-Americans) were more adversely affected than the rest,” writes Pinker. “When their computers arrived, their reading scores fell off a cliff.”
If this surprises you, raise your hand. No hands? Hmmm.

How many billions have been spent chasing this phantom?  There's no royal road to geometry, and there's no silver bullet for closing the achievement gap.


maxutils said...

Darren, you're just not on the cutting edge. Clearly, the best improvement we've seen in math skills has occurred due to the introduction of calculators in elementary school…

Ellen K said...

Our late and unlamented superintendent never met an Apple product he didn't like. As a result he blew through our stockpile of savings and bought IPads for every single kids K-11 (sorry seniors). And what happened? The kids play games all the time. They watch movies rather than working in class. They download viruses. And some of the equipment from our more transient students has ended up in Mexico. In the meantime, the same demographics that scored low before in spite of draconian measures to lure them to tutoring, still score low.