Saturday, September 18, 2010

July 2008 RCSS Superintendent Dr. Bedden warns of tech crisis...

On July 11, 2008, the Augusta Chronicle featured an article, "Bedden warns of technology crisis" and "According to the school system, about $3.85 million is allocated in the general fund for technology, including personnel. Another $1.4 million comes from sales tax revenue". 

In my last post, I shared information about the Department of Defense Computers for Learning program. One issue I have with all Richmond County schools is their disconnect with Fort Gordon, Georgia, home of the Signal Corps, even though many of us are parents, tax payers, volunteers, educators, administrators, and supporters of RCSS in countless ways. 

As a Signal Soldier, one of the numerous mottos we live with is, "They can talk about us but not without us" regardless of the type (analog, digital, or IP) of communications we are working with. One of many things that has been a frustrating to me is the disconnect and the lack of technology in the schools of Richmond County. So for $chie├če and giggles, I wanted to see how many of the RC schools were approved in the DoD Computers for Learning program. The results (school, year approved):

Academy of Richmond County, 2010
Diamond Lakes Elementary, 2009
Freedom Park School, 2008
Hephzibah Middle School, 2006
Jamestown Elementary School, 2009
Mcbean Elementary School, 2009
Morgan Road Middle School, 2010
Spirit Creek Middle School, 2009
Barton Chapel Elementary, 2004
Glenn Hills Middle School, 2004
Goshen Elementary School, 2008
Terrace Manor Elementary, 2008
Tobacco Road Elementary, 2008
Tutt Middle School, 2004
Wheeless Road Elementary School, 2010
Collins Elementary, 2005
East Augusta Middle School, 2004
Laney High School, 2010 ( 1 of 3 schools receiving of $1.5 million federal grant in 2010)
Willis Foreman Elementary School, 2009
Wheeless Road Elementary, 2010

Why aren't all Richmond County schools participating in this program? Why isn't being registered in the DoD Computers for Learning program a prerequisite before receiving federal funds, whether Title 1, grants, and other sources of funding? 

While former RCSS Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden is quoted, "I basically went crawling and begging to the Signal Corps and the county for help because of the number of employees we lost". We asked each other if he stopped at the front gate.

Fast forward 2.5 years what?

Google Apps Education Edition? Educate community members? Eradicate the us vs. them mentality? Read the multiple resources available through the Georgia Department of Education Keys to Quality School Improvement and resources for School Keys, GAPSS Analysis, and Implementation Resource and the Richmond County School System 2010 AYP ?

What happened to the recommendations presented by MGT of America when they conducted the Performance Review of RCSS (2008, 10 chapters, 328 pages) at a cost of $250,000 and approved by the RCBoEd? When is the last time you reviewed the RCSS Technology Plan, System Technology Inventory by School, System Technology & Media committee? 

When the F2F communication doesn't work take it to the net...or even academic research. How many times have we heard the reference to the infamous quote from Cool Hand Luke...What we have here is a failure to communicate.

If identifying the problem puts you 50% closer to finding the solution how do move towards a solution if the decision makers aren't listening?

1 comment:

L Winebrenner said...

For everyone I sent the link for the DoD Computers for Learning Program and Executive Order 12999...I received 1 response. So out of 10 school board members, those who were running for school board positions, and media contacts...this was all I received:

I referred your email to our Instructional Technology Dept. They got back to me about this program. 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.