We also have not received any word on whether or not they would consider combining the Technology, Maintenance and General funds. This is important to taxpayers since combined funds would eliminate wasteful spending on 1 to 1 technology that is apparently not effectively being managed. We hope to pursue this issue after the rate hearing.
August 2017 Update
The biggest news is that the Rate Hearing will be held the evening of September 18th at the District Office. We don't know the time yet but will update you when they publish the time. You can assume anywhere from as a start time. We are encouraging all of our supporters to attend. We will provide information about this hearing in the next few weeks and why it is important for you to attend. Please mark your calendars and plan to be there.
We received a few answers to our questions about the use of iPads and 1 to 1 technology in the classroom. From the 2012-2013 to last year the Kirkwood School District spent just under $2 million on the devices, cases and applications. We did not ask about maintenance costs but we can assume a 15% industry standard cost of maintenance. This would come to $2.5 million over the three academic years. The district, despite making this huge investment in computers, does not require teachers to use the equipment in lessons or track how often they do use the equipment. Therefore, the money spent is unaccounted for since the district is not determining the use or managing the immense financial investment. Tax Fairly is very supportive of 1 to 1 technology but there is no accountability for the money spent. Peter Drucker's dictum, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it, " is important in this case.
The district cannot tell us, in any meaningful manner, how many lessons are taught using the equipment. They also won’t give us access to the systems that we could use to determine how many lessons are taught by each teacher. We have the educational software knowledge to determine this information if they would give us access. If you ever come across a Kirkwood School Board member, therefore, ask them these simple questions:
Do you know the percentage of lessons that are taught, per teacher, using the computers worth millions of dollars given to students by the district?
Why did the Board spend millions of dollars on computers for children, some as young as Kindergartners, without a way to determine if they are being used in instruction?
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