Thursday, May 12, 2011

Haimson: Chester Finn Derides Class Size, Favors Computers

Leonie Haimson:

Chester Finn of the conservative Fordham institute attacks the whole notion of the importance of class size in an oped in the Daily news, proposing that putting kids on computers would be more cost-effective and produce better results than providing them with classes where they can get individual help from real live teachers:

Technology holds huge potential to magnify the effectiveness of great teachers and customize the educational experience of more students. New York City is experimenting with this potential, and "hybrid" schools around the country are blending face-to-face instruction with high-quality online instruction.  No, technology is no panacea, and it does carry some near-term costs. In the long run, though, it will save money for districts and states while also delivering their young people a better - and more modern, and very likely more motivating - education.

There is absolutely no evidence for any positive results for virtual instruction, as a NYT article pointed out a few weeks ago.    

Nevertheless, NYC is determined to spend billions of dollars on expanding online learning over the next few years, with $540 million next year to be spent in the capital plan alone just on hardware, software and wiring . This is a  huge waste of money and a large scale experiment being heavily promoted by the likes of Bill Gates and Joel Klein, who now heads an arm of Rupert Murdoch’s corporation focused on virtual instruction, as well as lots of the other computer and testing companies, who  are drooling over the prospect of making even more money off our kids. 

Just yesterday in fact, there was an article showing that the Pentagon rejects volunteers for the military who have HS diplomas from schools that focus on online instruction, and consider them no better than GEDs.

Write a letter to the Daily news, the shorter the better!   voicers@edit.­nydailynews.­com

1 comment:

NY_I said...

Chester Finn has just nakedly exposed his contempt for teachers, showing an obvious preference for computers
over teachers. For him teachers are just sound and motion that can be replaced by a computer.

Are teachers replaced by computers in the countries that shine better in international competition?
New York City Eye