Friday, April 15, 2016

The 285 Million Edtech takeover of BCPS: Baltimore Sun

In a Martin's West hall festooned with student art at Baltimore County's State of the Schools' event, a few high-dollar donor tables featured education tech reps doing their own artful work.
Daly Computers — which is supplying up to 120,000 laptops to Baltimore County Public Schools under a multi-year $205 million contract — garnered a primo spot as a $30,000-level sponsor.
Other contributors to the annual SOS fundraiser included McGraw-Hill Education/Engrade, Pearson, Microsoft, Discovery Education and other tech or edtech companies doing business with BCPS.
The March 23 party — which featured salmon filet and red velvet cake and showcased students' dance ensembles — was an elaborate affair. Recent SOS events have cost more than $100,000, according to The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools' federal 990 tax forms.

That's a lot of red velvet.
The scene is also emblematic of an apparent edtech takeover of the county's public school system, which is pursuing a laptop-per-student (1:1) initiative with projected "total costs" approaching $285 million in the first seven years alone, including related infrastructure "to support STAT" (Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow), various documents show.
Read the rest of the article by Joanne C. Simpson, a BCPS parent, here

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