Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hoboken School’s Laptop Program Fail-

My9 New Jersey

Hoboken, New Jersey (My9NJ) -
In 2011, every Hoboken middle school student was given a school appointed laptop. However, depending on who you ask, either the Hoboken school district spent about a quarter-million-dollars of federal stimulus money on computers that are being thrown out because a program was a failure, or the program was a success and these computers are being moved for use somewhere else.
Former board member Maureen Sullivan said that this program to give seventh and eighth grade student’s computers failed.
“Even before this year it was clear that the program just was no good and I think that just gives families the sense that the government just is gonna forget about you and they’ll promise you something, then take it away with one hand,” she said.
“When I was there it seemed that all the computers had already died or were on their last legs. These were already old computers; they’re at least two years old I think may be the youngest computers there now and some were dead in the storage room that were pictured in my article. I think the computers have sort of run their course and they have to go through the recycling or throwing away process now,” -Jill Barshay (Hechinger Report) 
Barshay said that when she spoke with the outgoing superintendent he told her that he personally made the call to pull the plug on the laptop program and not fund it anymore. She said that originally the program had very good intentions.
“This is a very low income high school and junior high community and they wanted to give kids who otherwise wouldn’t have computer access, they wanted to give them computers. What they didn’t do was plan how they were going to use them,” she said.
From (3/10/10)- Board member Maureen Sullivan voted against the (laptop) program. As of the mother of a 12-year-old, she said she had doubts whether 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds were best candidates for taking responsibility of the equipment. She also reasoned that the laptops will have mixed results when it comes to increasing test scores and will fail to improve their handwriting on written exams. Sitting next to her, board member Ruth McAllister didn’t believe the laptops would affect test results. When asked to vote on the first half of the agenda, McAllister said, jokingly, “Yes to all, and yes twice to the laptop program.”