Bad decisions make bad stories.
Is anyone floored that schools are the new mother-lode for slobbering hedge-funders and tech magnates?
Big Banks, Big Pharma, Big Oil … move on … it’s Big Ed Tech’s turn.
“Silicon Valley is going all out to own America’s school computer-and-software market, projected to reach $21 billion in sales by 2020.”
Will someone wipe the drool from Bill Gates’ chin?
As the New York Times reports … “An industry has grown up around courting public-school decision makers, and tech companies are using a sophisticated playbook to reach them …”
At least they’re sadly honest.
So the “Big Sell” is on … the non-stop hawking by Silicon Valley peddlers to secure their fat slice of the ed tech pie. And these technology hyenas will do anything to tear away a larger chunk of that revenue carcass.
Their strategy? Go straight to the top.
“School leaders have become so central to sales that … private firms will now … arrange meetings for vendors with school officials, on some occasions paying superintendents as consultants.” In our lingo … they’re greasing palms.
Now for the big gulp moment …
“These marketing approaches are legal. BUT there is little … evidence … that using computers in class improves educational results.”
But let’s spend a bazillion dollars anyway!
Their techniques model those of Big Pharma … who grime up our TV time with cures for scaly skin … and limp body parts.
Aggressive tech vendors will pay for access … and create showcase venues to capture the attention of important school personnel … the ones who make purchase decisions. With your tax dollars. But you only get to watch.
It seems there are no policies governing all of this glad-handing and contract awarding. None. So they “fly school officials to speak at events and take school leaders to steak and sushi restaurants …” And you’re not invited … even though it’s your money … and your children at stake.
“Several parents said they were troubled by school officials’ getting close to the companies seeking their business …” How ballsy of them!
And where is all of this glitzy experimentation taking place? In the most desperate schools in America, of course. Because the hopeless make tragic decisions.
Baltimore has been smoothly seduced … to the tune of millions and millions … convinced that technology is the Holy Grail of education … and that Big Ed Tech gurus are the Knights Templar of modern pedagogy.
The goal is to spit and polish students just well enough to get by quality control and then … then it’s off to the bank.
What can possibly go wrong?
So the spigots are open … and the tax monies are draining into the pockets of the Silicon Valley billionaires … and American public education is now in for some nasty and inevitable disappointment.
Faculties will be rinsed free of old blood … and new, conforming teacher-bots will read from the curriculum scripts exactly as written by the Big Ed Tech gurus.
And for the last decade, half-a-generation has already endured this child-abusing gauntlet of educational malpractice as they were guinea-pigged into blazing trails in the Brave New World of scholastic madness.
And what will your tax dollars buy for you … and for your child?
Drive-thru learning centers offering kiosk-educations from a B. F. Skinner touch-screen that will supply the finger-pointers with all they need to succeed in a life of rich monotony.
What a dreadful future … and you paid for it.