Sunday, November 21, 2010

Change, Passive Acceptance, DoD CFL, and RttT in Richmond County

It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it. Jacob Bronowski


In September 2010, I did a blog post on the DoD Computers for Learning Program and Executive Order 12999 and the article about former RCSS Superintendent, Dr. Bedden warning of a tech crisis in RCSS in 2008. As I transitioned back to Augusta, GA and assessed the situation I was returning to from family to community along with the upcoming elections I was curious as to how many people knew about the DoD Computers for Learning Program and why weren't all of our schools registered.


Along with a blog post, I emailed our 10 Richmond County School Board Members, those running for school board positions, some media contacts, and a couple of the PTA/PTSA newsgroups I am still connected with to see if there would be any response. I received one response...from one school board member and here it is:


I referred your email to our Instructional Technology Dept. They got back to me about this. Although we have gotten computers donated from this program, we do incur expenses in upgrading them as well as the time of our technology specialists to do this. Also, the State Dept of Education has changed standards and requirements in order to have all computers on a modern basis. The part of the SPLOST funds which can be used for technology is helping get all schools' computers on a modern basis. This would help with parts, software, and the time of our technology specialists which we are short on. (Personal communication, October 31, 2010)


I thanked this board member for their response and stated as a recipient of $16.6 million of the Race to the Top funds that the GA Department of Education has dedicated to the Richmond County School System, the least that I can expect is that our schools are registered in this program. Because I have been in the schools as a substitute teacher, volunteer, parent, taxpayer, and an involved community member I know the disconnects between what the board believes is going on technology wise in our schools to classrooms that lack technology or educators who have the technology but do not use it for whatever reason...and of course the ban of cell phones and social media.


Additional links:
Richmond County schools to get $16.6 million in Race To Top funds Federal Race to the Top grant money will go to Richmond County over 4 years (Augusta Chronicle, October 4 2010)
Georgia Wins Race to the Top (GA Department of Education, August 24, 2010)
New school code restricts social media options Effort aims to address bullying problems (Augusta Chronicle, July 17, 2010)
Richmond County School Systems eBoard Solutions


I thought there would be more progress while I was away from Augusta, GA for two years...but it appears that passive acceptance is still the accepted norm. 


It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it. Jacob Bronowski


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