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Chicago Mayor Praises Google For Buying Kids Microsoft Surfaces

timothy posted about a month ago | from the non-denominational dept.

Education 137

theodp (442580) writes "Google earned kudos from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week for teaming up with Staples to fund the projects of 367 of the city's 22,519 public school teachers on "begfunding" site DonorsChoose.org. "Everything that you asked for...every project that the teachers put on to help their students learn, exceed and excel here in the city of Chicago, you now have fully funded," Mayor Emanuel said. "Chicago's hardworking public school teachers are doing all that they can-and more-to support their students, but they need more help," said Rob Biederman, head of Chicago Public Affairs at Google. "We jumped at the chance to join with DonorsChoose.org and Staples to make Chicago's local classroom wishes come true." So what kind of dreams did Google make possible? Ironically, a look at Google Chicago's Giving Page shows that the biggest project funded by Google was to outfit a classroom with 32 Microsoft Surface RT tablets for $12,531, or about 6.5% of the $190,091 Google award. Other big ticket projects funded by Google included $5,931 for a personal home biodiesel kit and $5,552 for a marimba (in the middle of the spectrum was $748 for "Mindfulness Education"). In addition to similar "flash-funding" projects in Atlanta (paper towels!) and the Bay Area, Google and DonorsChoose have also teamed up this year to reward teachers with $400,000 for recruiting girls to learn to code (part of Google's $50 million Made With Code initiative) and an unknown amount for AP STEM teachers who passed Google muster (part of Google's $5 million AP STEM Access grant)."

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No wonder MSFT stock is up (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641439)

Surface sales must have just doubled!

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641449)

This is just another marketing and money-making ploy by Google.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641509)

A good way of making sure none of those kids ever use another Microsoft product.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641517)

I thought they turned evil all of a sudden. But you're right, they just freed them from MS garbage!

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641551)

A few years ago, a group of the world's most renowned scientists decided to debunk claims that Baby Gravy Paradise exists. Recently, instead of coming forth with proof that it doesn't exist where it was said to exist, they have found that it actually does exist! Baby Gravity Paradise is legit!

If they can still get their Halo and COD (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month ago | (#47641571)

How likely are kids to carry bad associations formed on a Surface through to, say, Xbox products?

Re:If they can still get their Halo and COD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642511)

As an Xbox employee, who spent yesterday getting yelled at about Win8 Charms while talking about Xbox to someone: Very Likely. I use Win8 daily and like it, on my Surface Pro, but I would not recommend an RT for just about anyone. I get what they are aiming at, and I guess it works, but in the end the customer always decides they need "this one program I used to use on Win7" and now the RT isn't Windows and they realize it and are angry. YMMV

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (1, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a month ago | (#47641735)

Seriously, what good is that "surface" crap, except maybe as 3rd or 4th computer? This thing basically is an overprices Internet terminal and bad at that.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (1, Informative)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a month ago | (#47641763)

So, exactly the same as iPads or Android tablets.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a month ago | (#47641871)

At least you can get Android Tablets cheap and iPads and Android tablets are good Internet terminals. This surface thing is just a rip-off.

Re: No wonder MSFT stock is up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47643021)

Especially the ones with microSD slots and HDMI out. I'm thinking if getting a 1024x768 Asus model just so I can watch YouTube vids while I ride an exercise bike. It only costs $110. I can use SoundAbout to force audio into headphones instead of HDMI.

A cheap tablet is great for anyone who wants something to at least access the Internet. It can't replace a desktop, but it can supplement one. A family might only be able to afford one full sized desktops, but get tablets for their kids.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47643929)

No, the Surface is a very thin and light laptop with a touchscreen and active digitiser. It's meant for people who need to do work, unlike iPads and Androids which are wholly consumer-only devices.

Nice troll though.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641915)

Obviously you have never used one. I have been in it for 20 years and I have completely switch to a Surface Pro at work and a Surface Pro 3 at home.

At work I have a dock and an external monitor and do everything from running Visual studio to hosting virtual machines in Hyper-V.

Your ignorant opinion aside, the Surface Pro 3 is just a modern computer with a removable keyboard, no more, no less. But when that modern computer is a current generation Core i5 with 8 GB of RAM, I hardly think it should be compared to an 'Internet Terminal'.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (1)

JediJorgie (700217) | about a month ago | (#47642003)

Sorry, did not notice I was not logged in. the 'it' that I have been in for 20 years is actually IT. Obviously I still have not learned to proof read.

Anyway, I love my Surface Pro 3 and the will be happy to be rid of the rest of the cluttered mess that is my computer desk when my new dock comes in.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642903)

I would have thought with 20 years in IT you'd know the difference between the Surface and Surface Pro... Apparently not.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (1)

JediJorgie (700217) | about a month ago | (#47643469)

The comment I was replying to simply says 'Seriously, what good is that "surface" crap, except maybe as 3rd or 4th computer?'. That looks to me like it dismisses the whole Surface line. I apologize for not realizing that they were only talking about the ones running Windows RT. (I blame Microsoft for the general confusion about RT vs. Pro as most of the people I support still do not know the difference.)

That being said, I would still have spoken up to defend the Sureface RT and the Surface II as they still have awesome optional keyboards, allow tons of customization and management via PowerShell, and come with Office 2013.

I have tried $75, $100, and even $150 Bluetooth keyboards and none of them seem to work as well as the $119 - $129 Surface Type Keyboard. I went through many tablets before I got my first Surface device, and would still recommend the Surface RT & Surface II for anyone that wants Web, Email, & Office, but also wants a really lightweight device with a good keyboard. I hear good things about the latest Dell and ASUS systems, but they run full Windows 8 and cannot compete on price with iPad/Android or even Windows RT devices.

I do fully agree that if you do not need a portable keyboard and Office, Android will get you more bang for the buck.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47643403)

Your opinion is just as ignorant, and I also wonder if you've ever used one. I have 20+ years doing that same stuff too.

Sure, I can buy a $2000 Surface Pro "tablet" that fails at being a tablet (empty app store, metro sucks HARD, battery life isn't so good, it's susceptible to common Windows problems, the OS is bloated for a tablet, it's seriously overpriced, etc) and that also fails at being a good computer unless it's plugged to a keyboard, mouse and large LCD panel which is totally the inverse of what buy a tablet for! It's a tablet that sucks HARD at being a tablet and that ends up being a overpriced poor laptop.

But when you point out that it sucks at being a tablet, the shills and idiots say "but it's also a laptop!" and then you point out stupid it is to use a tablet that's only useful as a laptop (and a overpriced poor one at that) when you say "but it's also a tablet!" disregarding that it sucks at that. Circular thinking at its best! Sure, it sucks it sucks at task #1 but it can do task #2! Yes, it sucks at task #2 but it can also do task #1!

I'd rather have a $300 android tablet or ipad mini than a $2000 surface pro. At least it's somewhat more useful as a tablet, and that leaves money to buy a FAR better laptop than the surface will ever be.

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642895)

The GP (and TFA) is talking about the Surface, not the Surface Pro. Who's ignorant now?

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about a month ago | (#47641977)

You can use any of the non RT Surface machines as primary laptops as well

Re:No wonder MSFT stock is up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642123)

i think you are mistaking that comment for the chinese "tablets" running android 2.2. Dumbas

Re: No wonder MSFT stock is up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642409)

You're a complete ignoramus. Surface RT, despite now being almost two years old, is a superb choice for students. It's light, thin, has great battery life, includes Microsoft Office, and is immune to viruses. It's study enough to be stood upon and used as a *skateboard*.

Step away from the mindless crowd of anti-MS sheeple. They're living in a 20 year old memory, not in the reality of 2014.

Re: No wonder MSFT stock is up (0)

Jason Ward (3780603) | about a month ago | (#47642413)

Surface RT, despite now being almost two years old, is a superb choice for students. It's light, thin, has great battery life, includes Microsoft Office, and is immune to viruses. It's study enough to be stood upon and used as a *skateboard*. Step away from the mindless crowd of anti-MS sheeple. They're living in a 20 year old memory, not in the reality of 2014.

Politician thanks company for doing his job (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641445)

You know Rahm, you could make sure the schools where properly funded and supplied with the equipment they need. But instead you prefer to give handjobs to your teacher union buddies. Go fuck yourself, Rahm.

Re:Politician thanks company for doing his job (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641467)

School admins make way more than teachers while not knowing any student's name.

The problem lies there Randroid.

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (4, Informative)

kenh (9056) | about a month ago | (#47641487)

Chicago Public School teachers are paid between $50-97K, based on education and time in job, plus pension and healthcare benefits.

http://www.ctunet.com/for-memb... [ctunet.com]

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (2)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about a month ago | (#47641583)

Chicago Public School teachers are paid between $50-97K, based on education and time in job, plus pension and healthcare benefits.

http://www.ctunet.com/for-memb... [ctunet.com]

Yep. Teachers in general are not underpaid. But there's a taboo against saying so.

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642527)

I would argue the reverse, they are in GENERAL underpaid, but there are definitely some who are NOT underpaid: see Chicago.

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month ago | (#47642641)

I would argue the reverse, they are in GENERAL underpaid, but there are definitely some who are NOT underpaid: see Chicago.

Here is a list of median and starting salaries [teacherportal.com] for teachers. In my state, California, the median is $67k. In my county, Santa Clara, it is $79k. They also receive generous benefits, and summers off. Teachers are paid fairly well compared to other non-technical college graduates.

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47643219)

And the average teacher salary in california is 85K!

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about a month ago | (#47643963)

In my county, Santa Clara, it is $79k. They also receive generous benefits, and summers off. Teachers are paid fairly well compared to other non-technical college graduates.

I have to cry foul on this one. $79K is lot more than minimum wage but not high considering responsibility they have (future adults are children) especially this is Silicon Valley (one million dollars is not a lot of money). Yes, they get benefits as compared to other jobs that used to have benefits like pension plans but there is a jihad to eliminate those. Others not in the profession from billionaires to working stiffs don't believe teachers should have these.

You don't know teachers. Many have to use their earnings to buy supplies because politicos are too cheap to provide much of basic stuff they used to provide. Many teachers spend a lot of time after class and at home preparing lesson plans, etc. They don't have teachers aides like back in the days.

I don't want to hear this about there's not enough money, we find plenty to spend on countries, prisons, spying on citizens, etc.

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a month ago | (#47641665)

not bad for working only 9 months a year

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (1)

module0000 (882745) | about a month ago | (#47642369)

Whenever I point this out to a teacher (like my spouse), that they get pay on par with year-round workers, they give the boilerplate response "But we only get paid for the days we work! Not the entire year!".

Which means given an 8 hour workday, instead of making $24 an hour(for a 52 week year), they are actually making $32 an hour. This is under "underpaid" at all.

TLDR; Teachers make much more per-hour than people assume, and they do not like it at all when this is pointed out.

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (3, Interesting)

quetwo (1203948) | about a month ago | (#47642665)

Well, then your spouse dosen't know how to account for their time very well.

When I was teaching, I topped out at $52k a year. This was in the midwest, and the top-paid teacher in the district I think made near $60k.

We were required to be in the classroom for 990 hours. IF you just count that, 52,000 / 990 = $52/hr.

But I was required to be in school more than just the kids. This averaged to be 1 hour before they arrived, and 3 after. (4hrs*5days*39weeks) = 780 + 990 = 1770 hours required to be in school. Now, the per-hour figure goes down to just under $30/hr.

Oh, and if I don't get my grading, lesson plans, meetings, and everything else done in those four hours (I rarely did), then I had to do that as well. Lets be really conservative and say that was only 6 hours a week. 6*39 = 2,004 hours. $25/hr.

Oddly enough, ~2000 hours is what an average blue-collar worker gets paid for per year, including vacations. $52k is pretty good, but I was also at top-pay. That is what was worked-up to.

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (0)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month ago | (#47643065)

When I tutored math in college in the 90's I got paid $5/hr. And I got drained and tired in 3 evening hrs. It wasn't really worth it as a job, it did not really cover the living expenses. I think these teachers that get paid so much do so because they have to work with retards, and the harder the work the more you get paid, and even then it's not worth the effort sometimes. Some things money just can't buy. I was lucky to work with really smart subjects so that's why I must have been paid so little.
Btw, I don't know why, but as soon as I looked at Rahm Emmanuel's photo, it occurred to me that he is very smart, good sense of humor, but he's gay. At least he's not coming out of the closet, but there may be more to the Chicago gang's pushing same sex marriages than just "let's everybody be nice to each other, live and let live." I for one don't support same sex marriage, and can't stand homosexual males (I mean I can work with them or coexist with them as long as they act normal, but I don't wanna hear any of their stuff, or see them flirt), and I absolutely loooove lesbians, whether they are bisexual or they deny me and I only get to watch, or even if they do other guys and each other but deny me, but let me watch, I love that shit. I'm a masochist. I also like jobs that are mildly painful, as long as no permanent harm is done, and the pain is not too great. I think you need to be mildly masochist and get off on the pain and suffering involved to be really good at any job, and get satisfaction from the endurance.

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (1)

BellyJelly (3772777) | about a month ago | (#47643115)

You could never pay me enough for me to want to be a teacher. I'm glad other people are prepared to do it though.....

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642717)

My sister is a teacher. You're missing all the hours they spend grading and creating new assignments. Those are done outside of work hours at home. Reusing old assignments means a bunch of the last year's students hand down their homework from the previous year and a lot of the kids cheat.

Is your spouse an art teacher where the assignments can stay constant?

Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (1)

nbauman (624611) | about a month ago | (#47642963)

Chicago Public School teachers are paid between $50-97K, based on education and time in job, plus pension and healthcare benefits.

Since the average income of full-time workers with a master's degree is $62,000 http://www.census.gov/prod/200... [census.gov] , that doesn't seem unreasonable. I'm not one of those conservatives who wants to reduce everybody in the country except themselves to Wallmart wages. I want to live in a country in which I'm getting a good salary for a job well done and everybody else is getting a good salary for a job well done.

There seem to be different kinds of teachers -- some of them work hard to keep up in their field, and give their students the attention they need, and some of them don't.

I think good teachers deserve the money. The bad teachers don't. If they're bad teachers, they should be trained to improve. If they can't be trained to improve, they should be fired.

Take a science teacher. I know a lot of science teachers who read Science magazine every week to keep current with the field. I read Science magazine (most) every week just to keep current with biology, and it's a tough job. Imagine if I also had to keep up with physics. They go to science conferences and teaching conferences. They keep ahead of their kids with computers (no easy task). They help their students do science fair projects. Every so often, they have to learn an entirely new curriculum. That's a big job and they may need the summer just to catch up with their work.

Somebody is going to say, "Why do science teachers have to spend so much time preparing their courses? It's all done. They can just recite the textbook." That's a complete misunderstanding of what science teachers do. Teaching science isn't teaching revealed truth, like the Bible. Science teachers have to understand what's going on in the entire world of science, and then select the subset which is most appropriate for their students. When the Higgs boson was discovered, and kids were interested in it, science teachers had to prepare to teach what the Higgs boson was and its significance (I couldn't).

Just as important, teachers have to learn how to teach.

For example, there are certain topics that kids can understand at a certain age. If you go beyond what they can understand, they won't learn anything, and you'll bore them or confuse them and they'll be turned off on science completely.

For example, according to the science curriculum, molecules are too abstract for most middle-school kids. I was surprised at that, but it makes sense. Suppose you tell an 11-year-old kid, "There are things called molecules, that you can't see, that you can't verify experimentally, and you'll have to trust me that they exist, and here's an artist's impression of what they look like." That's not teaching science. That's memorization. You could say exactly the same thing about angels. You can't verify them experimentally either.

Understanding what and how to teach about science is a tough job. If a science teacher were doing a good job of educating my kids, I wouldn't resent him or her for getting $100,000 a year. How much is it worth to you to have a kid who understands science?

Some people are going to say, "My wife is a teacher and she works seven hours a day and gets the summer off, and forgets about work once she's outside the school door."

Sure, there are bad teachers, but how many? Look at the Vergara case, where the anti-union, anti-tenure and charter school advocates got their chance to argue that the schools were filled with incompetent tenured union-protected teachers. What was the best evidence they could come up with, and based on that, how many incompetent teachers were there?

A guess from an expert who, when pressed, said that there were 1-3% "at maximum" who were, not incompetent, but gave "cause for concern" http://www.slate.com/articles/... [slate.com]

Re:Politician thanks company for doing his job (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641521)

Yes, those school administrators are also his union buddies. Try again, fuckface.

Re:Politician thanks company for doing his job (3, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a month ago | (#47641639)

Ya, because a bunch of toys that will distract from coursework and be broken in 2 months are "needed equipment".

Re:Politician thanks company for doing his job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642175)

Yeah, no, what Rahm needs to do is let corporate sponsors fund the schools entirely. This would be a voluntary and free-market enterprise that will surely work out well.

Links (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641451)

The summary could use some more hyperlinks.

Cheap press (2)

kenh (9056) | about a month ago | (#47641475)

This $190K expense will buy google an awful lot of free press.

It's nice that Google did this, but let's be clear - the Chicago Public School system has a staggering number of problems, and a marimba and a classroom full of MS Surface laptop/tablets won't really make a difference outside of the handful of children that will be able to actually touch/use these items.

Re:Cheap press (0)

gweihir (88907) | about a month ago | (#47641729)

I see zero "nice" on Googles side here. Unless they are terminally stupid, they will very well know that these trinkets make no difference at all in regard to the real problems. This is a coldly calculated and cheap move. It may in the end even harm Chicago, because people may thing that if Google helped, no other help is needed.

Re:Cheap press (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641759)

This, a thousand times.

The problem lies with greedy administrators who won't let the teachers do their job, won't support the children, and won't fund programs that need funding.

I guarantee not a single administrator will pay for any kind of training or maintenance for these tablets, which will be unused and broken within a year. This is literally money down the drain.

Not to mention that there is absolutely zero peer reviewed credible research that establishes having devices like these in the classroom facilitates learning IN ANY WAY. The fashionable solution for administrators is to throw technology at a problem, at any cost. This is just another case of that.

putting a surface in will make children stupider (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47643187)

hahaahahahahahahahaa

5.5k for a Marimba? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about a month ago | (#47641513)

How can a Marimba (which from a look at Google is similar to a Xylophone) cost so much money?

Re:5.5k for a Marimba? (4, Informative)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about a month ago | (#47641533)

How can a Marimba (which from a look at Google is similar to a Xylophone) cost so much money?

They are very large, professionally made musical instruments.

Check out the prices for other major musical instruments ... if you want to get any quality, they are not cheap.

Re:5.5k for a Marimba? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641637)

Good instruments cost money. My wife is a professional flutist and her flute cost $65k. I have a low-end trombone that cost $12k.

Re:5.5k for a Marimba? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about a month ago | (#47641741)

I guess I am used to the world of electronic music where even a top-of-the-line keyboard would probably only cost $2-3k tops and a fairly good one from a name like Yamaha or Roland could probably be picked up for around $1k or so.

Re:5.5k for a Marimba? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a month ago | (#47644017)

I guess I am used to the world of electronic music where even a top-of-the-line keyboard would probably only cost $2-3k tops and a fairly good one from a name like Yamaha or Roland could probably be picked up for around $1k or so.

The person your replying to was just being a snob; a cheap but perfectly adequate beginners/student/school band grade trombone is readily available for a few hundred bucks, and a respectable quality instrument can be had for a couple thousand bucks at retail. There's definitely a different quality, longevity, and craftsmanship between entry level student stuff and higher quality instruments, but the difference between a $2000 flute and a $60000 flute? I'd love to see a double blind.

Musical instruments get to be like audiophile gear; someone will always charge a ridiculous amount, because someone else will pay it and then claim its better.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.... [discovermagazine.com]

The Stradivarious is still more valuable for its historical significance, and the collectibility / prestige aspect -- but in terms of actual acoustic quality? Didn't stand up to a double blind test.

PS, on the flip side, the MSRP for a Roland V-Piano Grand is around 25,000. So your top end for an electronic keyboard was a bit low.

Re:5.5k for a Marimba? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642381)

Just realized something...that every married guy here should be jealous of you ;)

Re:5.5k for a Marimba? (1)

Suffering Bastard (194752) | about a month ago | (#47641873)

A professional marimba is typically made of Rosewood, which is a very expensive wood (due to restrictions on its export). It also requires a high degree of craftsmanship to build. The sound of a marimba is very different from a xylophone, with long, rich sustained notes.

Check it out for yourself [youtube.com] .

huh (3, Interesting)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about a month ago | (#47641519)

The marimba is good .... and maybe the home bio-diesel kit.

And then there's

$400,000 for recruiting girls to learn to code

Because doubling the workforce without doubling the jobs has worked out so great for every other sector of the economy since 1970 or so when it took off.

Teach them how to start a business (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a month ago | (#47641557)

What schools should be teaching is basic entrepreneur skills so that people can create their own jobs after they graduate.

Re:Teach them how to start a business (5, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about a month ago | (#47641617)

What schools should be teaching is basic entrepreneur skills so that people can create their own jobs after they graduate.

Skill #1 - be born to parents who can give you enough money to survive until your business makes a profit.

I think about half of kids in public schools are going to fail to master this one.

Re:Teach them how to start a business (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a month ago | (#47641655)

Yes, with increased automation we seem to be turning into a post-industrial culture, as in the majority of blue collar jobs in factories will cease to exist (and not a few white collar jobs as well). Perhaps an increased focus on microindustries, cottage industries, a diverse range of marginally profitable talents might help people to cope with these economic changes, rather than focusing on a "career" as such.

Re:Teach them how to start a business (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a month ago | (#47641723)

You cannot teach these skills. You can help the few that have them getting started easier, but that is it.

Re:Teach them how to beg... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642573)

Uh, the Government Schools are teaching the students how to start a business. The Government Schools are teaching their students to beg.
That's the greatest lesson that can be drawn from all the begging.
Begging for sports
Begging for band
Begging for yearbook
Begging in front of stores
Begging in the streets
Begging on the sidewalk
Begging door-to-door
Begging Parents plaguing their co-workers, co-club members, friends, family
Begging, begging, begging. Between the Government School inmates and the PBS, we are being begged to death.

The USA, through taxes, pays more than any other country for Government education--per students.
What is the ROI? Not much.

The private schools (non-sectarian, sectarian, home, co-op) typically outscore public schools in producing functional and educated graduates.
Why?

Re:Teach them how to beg... (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month ago | (#47643089)

Because private schools are not full of retarded children.

Re: Teach them how to beg... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47644423)

Private schools get to be selective about which students they accept, they can get rid of students who do not perform well, parents who are dropping five figures (or more) a year are going to make damn sure that their children are not slacking off, and finally those families that can afford private school tend to recognize the value of education in leading to success. It is not always about big gov vs private industry as you ignorantly assume.

Re:huh (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a month ago | (#47641721)

I am all for finding Girls that can learn to code well. That will only be very few though. In general we do not have to few coders, we have far, far too many and almost all of them are bad at what they do. So investing, say, a few billion, to get most coders to stop coding would be hugely beneficial to the industry.

Re:huh (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about a month ago | (#47642007)

Agreed. Very few girls will excel at code, most will be mediocre and even moster will hate it.

EXPOSE girls to code and cull out the ones who get it and encourage them to move forward.

If coding's not right, immerse them in something else until their eyes light up and their hearts sing.

Re:huh (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month ago | (#47643093)

I 2nd that.

The kids first comment will be... (5, Funny)

blahbooboo (839709) | about a month ago | (#47641525)

This isn't an ipad? Crap this sucks.

Re:The kids first comment will be... (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | about a month ago | (#47641979)

This isn't an ipad? Crap this sucks.

That would most likely be due to the fact that they can actually learn on them instead of just goofing off.

Just wondering ... (4, Insightful)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about a month ago | (#47641543)

Just wondering ... but why didn't public schools need to engage in constant fundraising and beg-a-thons in the good old days, for basics? Governments weren't spending more on them then, proportionately.

We are spending a river now. Where is it going?

Re:Just wondering ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641653)

Marimbanomics.

Re:Just wondering ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641787)

Just wondering ... but why didn't public schools need to engage in constant fundraising and beg-a-thons in the good old days, for basics? Governments weren't spending more on them then, proportionately.

We are spending a river now. Where is it going?

Bloated management/admin costs. Just like big bidness....

Re:Just wondering ... (2)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month ago | (#47643125)

When I was growing up we mostly had blackboards and chalk, pens/pencils and notebooks, and textbooks. And a lot of the indian and asian students that the postgrad classes in the US were flooded with when I was in college as an undergrad, that's how they grew up, with black chalkboards (or sometimes green) and white chalk.
Though when the school got an 286 IBM AT, I'd be playing Simcity on it a lot, or more like somebody would be playing it and the rest watch. But when it comes to quality education, sometimes a pencil and a piece of paper is more robust than a computer. I for one could not imagine tutoring math to somebody on a computer, instead of a pen and paper, it would only get in the way, the only thing to tutor on a computer is how to use a computer, not how to get your shit done in daily life. Like how to look up math information - the computer is one way, the school library books on shelves another - but when it comes to teaching, and explaining, even the paper book or the computer just get in the way compared to a pencil/pen and piece of paper.

Re:Just wondering ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641963)

Take a look at images of Chicago school teacher rallies. They frequently demonstrate for more money. Many of those folks obviously need more money to support their food habit. Four hundred pounds requires a lot of maintenance.

Re: Just wondering ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47644433)

Because tech nerds are the epitome of physical fitness. Dumbass!

Health insurers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641967)

It's going to health insurers, who are taking in upward of $1250 per employee per month from public sector organizations for employee health insurance benefits. I've seen the pay stubs. The health insurer then fights tooth and nail, denying claims, to keep as much of that money as it possibly can as profit.

Re:Health insurers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642543)

My wife, a Calculus teacher in Ca, costs just under $20k a year for health insurance. I was shocked when I found out. I need to go to the doctor more, just to make use of it! (Not really)

Re:Health insurers (0)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month ago | (#47643139)

I for one picked up a new motto lately : "live insurance free or die." Fuck all this mandatory insurance. Like mandatory gambling, I know how to gamble right, not the government telling me what bets I should make. Fucking maffiozos walking into a pub selling business protection insurance - 50% of your profits in my pocket. Fuck you guys, says the owner. Next day there is a bomb exploding in the pub, and the owner told, see, you should have bought that business protection insurance. Now it's like I have to fight tooth and nail not to get sick, from the purposeful infections and x-rays, and have to watch ultra careful when I drive for all these trap situations that have multiplied a lot since I stopped buying car insurance too. I used to have no problem with car insurance, but that's my answer to mandatory health insurance: "live free or die." Insurance free that is.

Re:Just wondering ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642205)

In "the good old days" there weren't hundreds of computers on campus requiring hardware and software upgrades and an IT staff to maintain them. No digital projectors to buy/upgrade/maintain. No computerized grading systems, attendence systems or student databases. Tech takes a good chunk of our district's budget. Then there are the overpaid district staff of course who are paid 6 figure salaries to hire educational consultants and contractors of questionable educational value at outrageous prices.

Re:Just wondering ... (2)

Guest316 (3014867) | about a month ago | (#47643677)

We are spending a river now. Where is it going?

From a relatively brief inside view, it's being spent on and by the usual assortment of clueless suits. Got a sudden windfall earmarked for "tech?" Well, uh, who do we know that does computery things? Let's contact the only company we've heard of and not bother asking any of those nerds we pay to do tech stuff. Hey Mr Gates, we've got a ton of money we don't know what to do with, can you help us spend it?

Yeah, it went pretty much like that. And the greasy salesmen were soon swarming all over sniffing out any perfectly functional and robust systems they could find to replace with PCs in rackmount cases. They never did work right. I'm sure the suits were happy with whatever kickbacks they got, and their ability to point at shiny new boxes and proudly show off how well they modernized things.

Visual Studio RT? (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a month ago | (#47641547)

outfit a classroom with 32 Microsoft Surface RT tablets for $12,531 [...] $400,000 for recruiting girls to learn to code

How do these fit together? Since when were programming tools ported to Windows RT?

Re:Visual Studio RT? (1)

charronia (3780579) | about a month ago | (#47641903)

I doubt they are related. After all, the description also notes they funded things like a marimba and a biodiesel kit.

Bush is killing toddlers in Iraq (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641577)

Interestingly, when you look at liberals, many live their lives in a conservative manner. This is because they understand that being liberal in your personal life is a one-way ticket on the high-speed rail line to Failureville.

Do you think Barack Obama would let his two delightful kids fritter their lives away in a miasma of drugs, promiscuity and general sloth? Of course not; those kids are going to work hard and be expected to achieve. But Obama would never expect that of the millions of welfare-sucking losers his party depends on at election time.

No, he needs those Democrat serfs to stay right where they are: poor, trapped and readily exploitable. After all, if they were to live like he does and support themselves, they wouldn't need him. And the priority for any liberal (after being seen as enlightened) is forcing someone else to need him.

Re:Bush is killing toddlers in Iraq (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641619)

Oooh I see I get a downmod, which basically means this truth gets hidden from the casual slashdot socialist reader.

So very typical of you rabid statist cocksuckers now, isn't it.

You assholes couldnt stand a real honest debate with a conservative and you know if. Hence we see the constant overriding tactic of shutting up those who disagree with you. The act of a coward and truly a dishonest and intellectually vacant idealogue.

Yes the truth stings now doesn't it?

Cocksuckers.

Re:Bush is killing toddlers in Iraq (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641999)

Truth? Nobody gives a shit about your opinion. You get downmodded because your rant the same off-topic bullshit in multiple threads.

do tablets actually help? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641599)

Last research I heard, a few years back, was that computers in the classroom actually harmed academic performance except in the sole case that the point was to learn about computers, because they were a distraction and also students didn't tend to take longhand notes, which is an important part of learning.

And if the class is a computer class, tablets seem like the worst possible choice.

Re:do tablets actually help? (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a month ago | (#47641679)

You have that right. People with some experience in that field have been saying it for a long time, and by now there is a scientific foundation to that idea. However you should not forget that this was not about doing something positive for children, but about getting good press. The average person on the streets thinks that computers help academic performance, because the average person on the street has no clue.

Incidentally, same as this "Made with Code" nonsense. Most people cannot learn to code to any significant degree and many of those remaining cannot learn to code well. Having these people on a project usually results in negative performance by them, i.e. cleaning up the mess they make costs significantly more money that the worth of anything they created. We desperately need fewer people to learn how to code. Instead we need to make sure only those that actually have the required talent learn how to do it professionally. The others cannot get there, no matter what. Coding well is a very advanced skill.

Re:do tablets actually help? (3, Insightful)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a month ago | (#47642319)

Incidentally, same as this "Made with Code" nonsense. Most people cannot learn to code to any significant degree and many of those remaining cannot learn to code well. Having these people on a project usually results in negative performance by them, i.e. cleaning up the mess they make costs significantly more money that the worth of anything they created. We desperately need fewer people to learn how to code. Instead we need to make sure only those that actually have the required talent learn how to do it professionally. The others cannot get there, no matter what.

It's fine if they don't, and can't. They still need to try to learn, for several reasons.

The most important reason the masses should take at least one programming class is to learn what a computer is capable of. Most people wouldn't know a for loop if it bit them. If they took a programming class, they would at least learn that computers are good at doing repetitious things, and this is how it's done. They may not ever be able to write a coherent program, but at least they can see what's possible. Most people view computers as the magic talking box with a screen you can touch to make it do stuff. (As opposed to the past several generations who viewed televisions as the magic talking box with knobs you could touch to make it do stuff.) A programming class, even a bonehead programming class, would give people an inkling of what's happening inside the magic box, and maybe, just maybe, get them to ask a programmer for help with automating tasks.

The second reason is to make people find out, by experience, that programming is hard. Right now there's a pervasive belief that programming must be easy. After all, my cousin's sister's kid does it. How hard can it be? That boy used to shove peas up his nose. Unless people actually try to write a program, they haven't the faintest inkling how difficult it is. Maybe if they try, they'll finally figure out why programmers cost more than MBAs. Or should.

Re:do tablets actually help? (1)

matbury (3458347) | about a month ago | (#47642281)

Yep, there's lots of people repeating the PR and marketing mantra that children need mobile devices in schools without showing any evidence that it's beneficial to them or their academic performance. Where are the studies and pilot schemes that show significant and substantial effect sizes (i.e. above d 0.4) that would warrant diverting time and resources away from actually studying? Where's the evidence showing that tablets in classrooms contribute to children's literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking skills?

If we don't care about evidence, we could equally claim that computer software, since it's so narrowly and rigidly designed, contributes to increasing and entrenching functional fixedness, i.e. the inability to take knowledge from one situation/context and apply it to another. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org] (I'm not claiming that this is the case, just that we can claim anything we like without the need to provide appropriate, valid, reliable evidence).

Nixon vs Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641633)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/08/09/nixon-vs-obama-yes-nixon-was-bad-but-obama-is-worse/

"Obama has used the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to guarantee any surveillance the government wants without probable cause. Nixon spied on a virtual hand-full. Barack Obama’ s NSA wire-taps the entire nation and monitors the e-mails of thousands.

Nixon talked about using the IRS to harass his opponents but there is no evidence that he successfully did so, yet illegal use of the IRS was among the Articles of Impeachment voted by the House of Representatives. Obama’s IRS has actually used the IRS to harass conservative groups. Can you imagine the liberal outcry if IRS officials under Nixon referred to liberals as “a—holes’ and “crazies”?

The White House tapes show Nixon attempting to use the CIA to impede the FBI investigation into the Watergate break-in. This pales in comparison to the CIA spying on members of the US Senate charged with investigating the Agency's illegal activities.

Where is liberal outrage over Obama’s Justice Department spying on reporters? What would have happened if Nixon's Justice Department had opened the mail and tracked the movements of Walter Cronkite as Obama’s Justice department did with Fox’s News' James Rosen? ....

Nixon was excoriated for the missing 18 and a half minutes in his White House tapes although his long-time Secretary Rose Mary Woods claimed to have erased them by mistake. In the torture scandal, CIA officials admitted to destroying tapes that they knew could be used against them in criminal cases at the same time Obama’s IRS says hundreds of thousands of documents regarding abuse against Tea Party and Conservative groups are “missing,” without repercussion. ...

Because of Obama’s iconic status on the left, liberals are silent as Obama shreds the Constitution in ways Richard Nixon would have marveled at. Democrats scoff at the notion of the impeachment of Obama for crimes far more serious and reaching than of those committed by Richard Nixon."

Peanuts (2)

gweihir (88907) | about a month ago | (#47641649)

If I read this right, the amount give is peanuts and will not have any significant impact whatsoever. If you play it right, apparently positive press can be have for cheap trinkets these days.

Re:Peanuts (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about a month ago | (#47641747)

I will have to agree with you, 100%. To make matters even worse, when one compares [recent] Asian/African immigrant kids who enroll in the school system, kids who usually experience high-tech for the very first time in school; these kids perform way better than any of our own "technology exposed" pupils!

They learn to handle this tech pretty fast too. This has left me with one conclusion: The old fashioned blackboard and a degree of discipline plus drive are what our kids need. Not fancy gadgets whose purchase makes corporations financially richer while giving those who donate free advertising.

Re:Peanuts (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a month ago | (#47641885)

Very true.

Re:Peanuts (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a month ago | (#47642863)

The old fashioned blackboard and a degree of discipline plus drive are what our kids need.

Its possible that a "smart black board" would be an upgrade, but probably the costs are way too high right now to even think about it. I'm not thinking about a huge touch-screen here ... but more along the lines of a projector with a camera attached for interaction with the computer driving the projector.

Mod parent up. (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about a month ago | (#47642879)

Totally true. Human brains haven't evolved (sadly) and what got us to where we are today is a tiny group of scientists and some inventors who did exceptionally well with what we had and did in the past. Realistically, we need to focus on THOSE people and what made them possible instead of attempting to to a 1 size fits all solution with the silly dream of making everybody into an Einstein. (If you want to try doing that, you are going to have to leave Einsteins alone with 1900s education and place the rest into your human experiments.... until you end up with hundreds of education models where then the biggest problem will be inventing the Sorting Hat.)

Re:Peanuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47642667)

So, you're saying that donating $190K is a bad thing?

Consumer culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47641867)

Why do schools give kids expensive media consumption devices? You can not write code, do 2D/3D graphics design or many other things. Only thing that is left is a gimped office suite.
Shouldn't schools be a place where you learn to create content, not just copy/pasting stuff off wikipedia?

Re:Consumer culture (0)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month ago | (#47643225)

The colored people got out of hand in Chicago and cannot be contained, so the only thing Microsoft can do is help them stay dumb and blow their money on fancy things that are glittery but useless at the core. Like some of the buses public transports buy lately, the old school buses used to kick ass, but the new fancy shmancy ones, you can just look at them, and it's so obvious what a friggin maintenance nightmare and budget nightmare they must be, even if peddling some new envirofriendly bullcrap. The bank account is the first environment that needs to be made friendly, before everything else. It's like, people should not eat a beautiful deer but let it go on its way, but if they are really hungry, then go ahead, eat it. Fuck the environment, learn to live. Them old buses polluting the world full of carbon dioxide were not that much worse when the whole city is headed the way of Detroit, straight into bankruptcy. Who's got money to blow on envirofriendly crap? Shenzen China, yeah, cuz they are rich. What we need to learn in the US is how to outcompete Shenzen, at what they do best. We used to sell something for $10, but Chinese competition sells it for $0.50, so we throw our hands up, go on welfare, and cry all day about unable to compete with unfair competition, they don't have OSHA, EPA, insurance, housing and the like that we have to pay, so we can't sell the stuff for $0.50. I say fuck that. Find a way to put a "Made in USA" label on it and sell it for $0.49 next to the "Made in China" stuff at Dollar General or Dollar Tree, or even Walmart. When I buy a shirt, at Walmart, for $6.99 for a gorgeous piece, that says "Made in Bangladesh," I think there should be another shirt right next to it, that's even better, selling for $5.99 that says "Made in Boston, USA." Why can't they make 5.99 shirts in Boston USA? Well, let's see, in Bangladesh they don't have to pay Obamacare, they don't have to pay huge housing cost, they don't have to pay the huge commute cost, they don't have to pay the huge taxes, they don't have to pay .. etc.,etc., etc. What the fuck happened to the American worker being uncompetitive in the global market place? Oh wait, we're supposed to turn into the intellectual property capital of the world, all you gotta do is take the economic base overseas, and let people start their own businesses, with the only option being intellectual property: such as songs, videos, pictures, books, software, the initiative coming at you straight from Microsoft and gang. And once we can get everyone in the Land of the Free agree to intellectual property, Da Man is gonna hog all thoughts like he hogs all housing, and collect. You will pay a thinking fee, on any thoughts you have, because Da Man successfully took over all possible intellectual property thoughts, unless you can prove that you can meditate and have your mind go completely blank, and then you're excused for those minutes or hours you spend meditating, but in the rest of your life, you better pay off. We don't own you, slavery is illegal, but we own your thoughts. Pay up bitch.

Re:Consumer culture (-1)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month ago | (#47644245)

And by the way with dropping prices - such as I used to buy Reebok's for $99 at Sears, JC Penney, Dillard's, and even Kmart, back in the 90's, but now even Kmart is carrying less than $20 shoes, which, even if they don't last 2 years like the oldschool stuff used to, they do last a year or so. So with such dropping prices, and dropping wages, it's like you have a reverse inflation. What kind of thing is that? Traditionally we've had a 2% inflation over like a century, but with intense global competition sellers willing to bid for a lower prices, and breakdown of barriers to sell, price control is not possible, and prices tend lower and lower, together with incomes. It's like the Present Value of money is less than the future value, something economists never heard of. Usually a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, that I may or may not catch tomorrow, certainty, the present used to be worth more than uncertainty, a future maybe, but today we have such a situation where almost saying that two birds in the hand today are worth more than 1 in the bush I may or may not catch tomorrow. That's nonsense. It's like instead of paying interest on borrowed money, you get paid interest to borrow it with the understanding that you'll pay it back later, when it's worth more. That's also nonsense, because whoever has money, they don't have to lend it to you and pay you to keep it, but they can just keep it for tomorrow, where it's worth more than it is today, because it can buy more stuff, and get more labor, dollar per dollar, than it can today, as global competition in a free market intensifies. So there is no such thing as negative interest rate, because nobody is stupid to pay it, instead of hiding the money, by, say digging it away at a secret location. But it does come in with scenarios to where instead of having a bank pay you interest on money you deposit with them safely, now you have to pay a fee for them to keep it for you, as in the 90's a checking account paid 2%, but now it pays none, or maybe 0.00000000137% interest or some nonsense like that, but the fees the bank charges to keep operating add up to -2% interest rate. Of course this can only go on if deflation instead of inflation keeps going on, but as global competition via free markets intensifies, as in I can buy some $50 item from China for $49 on Ebay, and it's better quality, all I have to do is wait for the shipping, and things that used to cost $10 now cost $0.50, and through competition may cost $0.05 20 years from now, til we are back to like 1905 dollar values, we have a total financial nonsense, as in stock market valuations out of touch with reality, housing and other things out of touch with reality, and really, what is to blame is the free market global competition, nonlocal economies, and lack of tariffs. But such a thing is also a great equalizer in the world, as it may bring $10 item prices down to $0.05, but it also lifts up those places that were at say, $0.000001 for that $10 item, in relative terms, and then the whole world runs on $0.05, and goes from there, and inflation takes over again, and a bird in the hand for sure today will be worth more than two in the bush that I might catch tomorrow, interest rates will break away from 0.00002%, all we need is less people who are willing to bid lower, lack of competition willing to stoop lower for that almighty dollar, and say it's not worth it, money is not everything. That kind of world requires food on the table for everyone, and no population explosion. Good luck with that. The free market is a great thing, being able to get something from China via Ebay is awesome, but it has this other, crazy side of deflation to it, which is a financial nonsense. It is especially nonsense when it comes to debt, because instead of borrowing and paying interest, you should be giving it away and paying somebody to take it from you, as long as they give it back tomorrow for sure, like a bank, almost. So we are forced to live in a makebelieve financial structure, where we march on regardless of the circumstances, like in this Yankee Doodle picture, http://www.wpclipart.com/Ameri... [wpclipart.com] , and continue charging interest rates on mortgages, and stick to our way of life as we used to know it, regardless of the financial realities around us. Keep piling that government debt bigger, who cares, it does not really matter anyway, a free market economy with a negative infinity government debt where everyone is on welfare and has food on the table is a hell of a lot better than a communist one where you have to stand in line for food. Eventually, places like Ebay will have to put up artificial obstacles to globalization and support localization, for less competition, and better local financial stability, in such things as maintaining high cost of living. There is a lot of wealth that people poor into their cost of living structures, such as their house, that they don't like to see evaporate overnight, because the market prices drop, because high paying jobs are outsourced, they only like to see the price go up, to where they can refinance and get a free car out of it. All I know is you can't have it both ways. You can't drop everyone to minimum wage through layoffs, then expect housing prices to go on increasing forever. I cannot afford an $82,000 house on $7.00/hr, with 2400/yr tax today, and unknown tax and maintenance cost tomorrow, with an unknown and unguaranteed job, in the suburbs. The risks, profits, rate of returns and benefits on such an investment, in face of that minimum wage, are not good. Just 20 years ago such a house was 30,000, and it bubbled up to that price. That's a whole different world, and the housing market collapsed because it was living in a dream world expecting future prices would keep going up, just like during the Dutch Tulip Mania of the 1600's, the free market fluctuated prices to where a single bulb would fetch a couple oxen, pigs, a lot of food, etc, not because of its intrinsic economic use and value, but future speculation of where the price might end up, kind of pyramid scheme piggy backing on a tangible object, such as a tulip. And gambling on tulips was a way to gamble, and for those who sold a bulb for a couple oxen and pigs, it really paid off. State lotteries are milder forms of gambles, but there too, there are winners and losers. So are insurance plans, but there the losers are almost guaranteed to be the buyers, unless of course they know they will get very sick, in which case they might win. But that's an argument I'm ignoring, regardless of how sick or how accident prone my future will be. I cannot afford to blow money on stupid gambles, like insurance. I don't like to gamble. Stepping outside the door is a gamble not to get struck by lightning, life is a gamble, but I chose to gamble as little as possible in it. And the government shouldn't be telling me how to gamble with my finances, or how to spend my money, unless they are willing to take over responsibility for when I go bankrupt. Until then, I am responsible. I am the captain of my soul.

begfunding my butt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47643183)

why not just fund the schools well in the first place instead of making them create beggar projects? Oh that's right, we'd have to tax corporations properly in order to afford to do that - instead we have a system that lets corps off on taxes and makes them look like good guys if they step up to help out anywhere at all. FEH!

What I don't get is what's wrong with _desktops_ (2)

melted (227442) | about a month ago | (#47643639)

What I don't get is what's wrong with _desktops_ in a school lab. They can't be broken or lost as easily. They are more powerful. Each desktop can be shared between several pupils. They're also cheaper, even with larger monitors, have better input devices (real keyboards and mice), and since they're not mobile, they can be set up to boot from the network with zero maintenance.

Why burn perfectly good money on shit kids don't need, especially when research shows it does nothing for their academic achievement?

If Google paid their taxes ;) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47643659)

Ironically we have a "good news" item here which highlights the problems with school funding and companies avoiding taxes. If google, M$ and apple paid their fair share, like most other American corporations, then perhaps the schools could have bought those surfaces without having to go to an official begging site to beg for help from those tax avoiders. And only $200k at that. I wish I could pay no taxes like they do!

Re:If Google paid their taxes ;) (2)

high_rolla (1068540) | about a month ago | (#47643825)

Indeed. It also potentially starts setting a dangerous precedent. Once other corporations see the benefits of "donating" like this they will want to do more of it. It wouldn't surprise me to see the government happily oblige and also reduce the funding it provides, as incentive. This continues and the corporations will soon be making quite meaningful "donations". With that will come some very strong influence over how things are run and I'm sure it will be to their benefit as opposed to ours.

Soon enough it won't be the corporations not paying their taxes to the government but the government not paying it's rent to the corporations.

Surface? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47643687)

Fascinating that Google bought Surface RT units... perhaps they are seeding the ground to encourage people to use Android-based products? I have both a Surface RT and a Nexus 7. Surface RT is superficially nice but the bugs in keyboard, power and application management that I gather were in the first version and still unfixed make it almost unusable due to their erratic nature. Keyboard (or onscreen) stops responding mid-sentence... the fix? Hard reboot, remove and reinstall the keyboard driver, do a factory reset and reinstall all apps and data -- all pretty extreme. And gestures? Well, sometimes they work but mostly no. The Nexus has been far more stable and reliable -- I can take it travelling. The Surface is simply not reliable or trustworthy so too risky to take traveling. Cannot imagine school kids learning anything but cyber-loathing from these things. Be nice if Microsoft cared... they have my money (and Googles). And are clearing out their inventory. Must be why the MS store is now selling other stuff besides their hardware...

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