I mentioned, the other day, having met Keith Krueger and seen his presentation in Arkansas. He shared a bit about the stimulus package, with regard to ed tech, and we talked a bit more after his presentation. I must confess that I had not honed in on the specifics of the stimulus package. There were lots of really big numbers bouncing around, but, to be frank, I was avoiding the details out of fear of disappointment — and my fears have certainly been realized.
According to Krueger, both houses had settled on a billion dollars for ed tech, after CoSN and ISTE recommended 10 billion — as a starter. However, somehow, after the House of Representatives and the Senate had agreed on that sum, education technology got paired down to $650 million — which takes us back into the range of Bush era funding levels. Equipping our classrooms, teachers, and students with contemporary information and communication technologies got sacrificed.
It is depressing to realize, that even under the best of leadership, there remains a coercive and corrosive element of greed, complacency, entitlement, smoke-screen values issues, and astounding short sightedness.
There is other money going to education — and I’ll take one more opportunity to state here that ICT, alone, will not save education. A lot of the money is going to the states to off-set budget crunches there — and some of it is labeled under modernizing education. Yet our new governor (NC) continues to paint a picture of doom and gloom, with almost daily announcements of cascading budget cuts.
I spent some time at the airport this morning and on the flight to Dallas, ranting on about this loss, and how we need to keep talking, remain enthusiastically hopeful, more imaginative than ever before, and more consciously looking for stories and language that will gain traction in the continuing conversations.
But, I didn’t say anything especially original or even very helpful.
So I’ll just say that I had a wonderful weekend, out to eat with Brenda and to a movie (Slumdog Millionaire — a little more cruel than I’d expected), and then playing with my first ever Woot purchase. It is a USB Turntable. I’ve been transferring some old albums to iTunes and just enjoying music I’ve not listened to in decades — some of which has never been published on CD. Anyone remember Cafe Jacques?