The report “Baltimore County schools scaling back ambitious laptop program that has met criticism” (May 21) was a great ray of hope that the county leadership has seen the light on buying warehouses full of overpriced computers. For many decades there have been huge vendors like Apple and HP cashing in on selling their wares to school districts that spent limited funds to buy the latest “innovations and breakthroughs” to help kids learn. Little thought is ever given to the idea that the shelf life of these miracle machines is just a couple of years and then it will be time to buy the newest version that is even better.
Computers are marvelous machines capable of many things, but they will never replace a teacher. The data appears to bear that out as school districts have spent billions of dollars buying computers, but test scores keep dropping. In spite of massive expenditures for equipment, networking, software, training, repairs and replacements, student achievement levels keep dropping. Would it not be so much smarter to spend the money for more teachers and smaller classes instead of adding to computer makers’ profit statements?