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Education The Almighty Buck News

Schools To Get Their Own DARPA 151

Posted by Soulskill
from the hall-monitor-death-robots-here-we-come dept.
Julie188 writes "A decade ago, Lawrence Grossman, former president of both NBC News and PBS, and Newton Minow, former chairman of the FCC, proposed that the government set up a multi-billion dollar trust that would act as a 'venture capital fund' to research educational technologies for schools, libraries and museums. Congress has finally approved the idea, and grants could start rolling by this fall. Dubbed the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies, it should be to education what the National Science Foundation is for science, and DARPA is for national defense."
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Schools To Get Their Own DARPA

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  • NCRAIDT or maybe NC-RAIDT or better yet just RAID-T. I wonder how much parity there is?

    • It's not pronounceable so it's not an acronym.

      Acronyms are to abbreviations as squares are to rectangles.

      Why does everything have to have an abbreviation? i'd like to see companies, institutions, protocols and the like with... NAMES. Just give it a name!

       

      • I would say Acronyms are to Initialisms are to abbreviations as Squares are to rectangles are to quadrilaterals.

        • by AP31R0N (723649)

          Heh. You're one of the ten people who have any idea what an initialism is. i'm not one of them.

          • by kdemetter (965669)

            an acronym you pronounce like a word : LASER, DARPA
            an initialism you pronounce letter by letter : HTML , CSS

            and then , there is also truncation , like etc

            • by AP31R0N (723649)

              Initialism sounds the same as abbreviation. Is there a substantive difference or did someone dislike the word abbreviation and renamed it?

      • It's not pronounceable so it's not an acronym.

        Not true at all. An acronym is simply the first letter of each (or most) word(s) in a phrase. They are often pronounceable, for convenience. FLIR (Fleer) is much shorter than Forward Looking Infra-red Radar (nice acronym inside of an acronym). Others are not pronounceable, such as FCS (Future Combat Systems) or NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical), but are still easier to say the acronym than the entire phrase.

        • by AP31R0N (723649)

          No.

          Are you trolling me? Or did you not read the post?

          An acronym is an abbreviation SPOKEN as if it was a word, as opposed to being spoken letter by letter. If your definition were the case, then there would be no need for two words that mean the same thing. All acronyms are abbreviations, but not all abbreviations are acronyms (see square vs. rectangle).

          Don't cite wikipedia or some other bastion of ignorance at me. Dictionaries write down every misuse of a word. Then some idiot says "look, it's in the dic

  • by thomasdz (178114) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @10:22AM (#30904794)

    When I was growing up, all the other kids on my block had a DARPA, but I didn't.
    I had to do with some stupid National Science Foundation

    • by eln (21727)
      You were lucky! All I had was a lousy National Endowment for the Arts. Every day I'd have some jerkoff smearing my walls with feces in the shape of the Virgin Mary in exchange for grant money. It was a nightmare.
      • by icebike (68054)

        You can expect roughly the same with this program.

        It will soon become another haven for educationally trained money sponges which will produce nothing but studies and unworkable pie in the sky "solutions" to employ yet more educationally trained money sponges.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @11:08AM (#30905514) Journal

      When I was growing up, all the other kids on my block had a DARPA, but I didn't.
      I had to do with some stupid National Science Foundation

      When I was growing up, all the other kids in the country had the National Science Foundation, but I didn't.
      I had to make do with the Texas Board of Education [google.com].

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      When I was growing up, all the other kids on my block had a DARPA, but I didn't. I had to do with some stupid National Science Foundation

      You're lucky you had a NSF. I'm a political scientist, they want us to not even have that!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      So you were doing National Science Foundation Work? I wonder how many people clicked on you by mistake.
  • Finally? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spydabyte (1032538) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @10:30AM (#30904912)
    About time someone in government considers education as important as military "defense" and scientific breakthroughs.
    • There is so much potential to leverage technology to make schools better too.

      Current technology is all about transmitting large amounts of information to multiple sources and presenting it in different forms. Imagine being able to easily leverage the plans and methods of the "best" teacher in the country for your particular subject. Having good templates for making lessons more interactive using technology instead of sitting watching a lecture / screen.
    • by khallow (566160)

      About time someone in government considers education as important as military "defense" and scientific breakthroughs.

      The current government-subsidized inflation in universities indicates to me that they are already vastly overfunded. Plus you have millions of people who can pay for their education. Same goes for scientific "breakthroughs". There's plenty of money coming out of government right now. Why pay for your own research when you can get the public to do it for you?

      So we can pay for our own education and our own research, but who is allowed to pay for their own defense? That makes defense spending necessary unli

      • That makes defense spending necessary unlike education and research spending.

        Tell that to companies like Kodak and Motorola who have made trillions on the sale of digital cameras that have their origins with the publicly-funded Hubble program. Governments need to fund research simply because businesses won't unless they see immediate value in it. Hell, the ubiquitous laser was called "a solution looking for a problem" when it was invented 50 years ago and we see how well that turned out. Most scientis
        • The laser printer was invented 41 years ago, not 50, and it was invented at Xerox PARC. Given that this was a private, corporate, research centre, it's a pretty terrible example of the fact that private companies won't do research. At the time, it was too expensive to be competitive with other solutions. The first office laser printer was shipped by Xerox ten years after their first working prototypes and cost over $15,000 (around $35,000 in today's money), so calling it a solution looking for a problem

          • Great history lesson. I did not, however, say "laser printer", I said "laser" which was "invented" in 1959 (it was built on previous technologies and theories, but LASER was introduced to the world in the 1959 paper "The LASER, Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation"). I also didn't say private companies won't do research, I said that unless have a practical application, you're not going to get funding. Starkweather's research of the laser printer was a corporate-funded endeavor to produ
          • by Atraxen (790188)

            He was talking about a laser, not a laser printer (the word "printer" never appeared in the GP.)

            Replying to the entire thread here;
            Ammonia maser = 1953 - partially funded by US Navy as part of radar-type research (at Columbia)
            Funding for laser development = intervening years (ARPA, private, etc. funding)
            Ruby laser = 1960 - Hughes Research Laboratories

            If anything, this is an example of the traction that comes from using public funding to stimulate scientific adva

        • Not to be too pedantic but "trillions?" Really? The US Economy is about $12T/year, Federal budget is about $2T/year. How can digital camera sales make up some measurable percentage of that whole economy? Maybe you can provide some citation on that assertion?

          • I guess I could do that if you could explain how you think digital cameras have only been in production for one year.
            • by khallow (566160)
              So how many years do you think digital cameras have been in production? And do you even have an idea how much profit per year are generated by digital cameras?
            • Please. Show some data indicating that there is any possibility that total gross revenue for digital camera sales, starting since whenever they were invented, are anywhere near $1T.

        • by khallow (566160)
          You're just wrong. Even if we ignore the blatant error of your statements about the origin and economics of digital cameras, NASA spinoffs are myths. My view is that NASA funding is simply another source, like the US military (which incidentally does a lot more of this sort of funding) for doing research that would have happened anyway. The problem is simply that we see what was done, not what could have been done. So you see the research tainted by NASA funding and for some reason assume that the presence
          • Why thank you. You provide no facts to back your case, only your own supposition based on "what ifs" and then suggest my own argument fails. Yup, you would know all about fails...
            • by khallow (566160)
              Let's do the evidence thing.

              1) Your story about Kodak and Motorola making "trillions" on the sale of digital cameras from the research on Hubble fails for two reasons. First, CCD cameras predate Hubble by decades. Second, Kodak and Motorola aren't making trillions on the sale of digital cameras. The whole market isn't that big to justify the label of "trillions". None of these companies have anything to do with Hubble's optics. That honor went to Perkin-Elmer, Inc, the actual contractor for Hubble.

              2)
    • Exactly what I thought.

      It’s sad, that the current reality is:
      - Education is uncool.
      - Don't dare to call me an idiot because I can't even program a DVR.
      - But I get to insult you, because the elite should be hated!

      Even sadder is, that those who really make something out of themselves, study hard, etc, let the dumb have their view of reality (the one above) imposed upon them.

      There were better times. (At least I hope so.) Where you were respected and people listened to, when you were wise and educated.
      (Of

  • by Alexpkeaton1010 (1101915) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @10:35AM (#30904970)
    No amount of money is going to get parents in failing schools to care about their kid's education.
    • by xzvf (924443) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @10:48AM (#30905170)
      Technology has the potential to break the monopoly of school districts and classrooms. Right now kids are taught primarily one way. In groups of 20-30 they sit in classrooms and get education from a teacher. The quality of the teacher in process and as fountain of knowledge gos a long way in determining the success of the student. With proper infrastructure each kid can be taught in the way they learn best from the best instructors with the local teachers being facilitators of finding the knowledge. In addition to no child being left behind, we can get no child held back.
      • No it does not. (Score:3, Informative)

        by Shivetya (243324)

        because your going to have to ditch the educator unions too. Its a jobs program, both for those who went to school to teach and those who know the right people. The ratio of employees (teachers, admins, etc) to students has never been higher and education just keeps becoming less and less.

        Reference the Vermont State of the Union speech given recently http://www.stateline.org/live/details/speech?contentId=449875 [stateline.org] and understand the problem facing education in this country. This "new DARPA for schools" wil

      • +1 Would Buy You A Beer

        This is why I like projects like CK-12.

        CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market both in the U.S. and worldwide. Using an open-content, web-based collaborative model termed the "FlexBook," CK-12 intends to pioneer the generation and distribution of high quality educational content that will serve both as core text as well as provide an adaptive environment for learning.

        http://about.ck12.org/ [ck12.org]

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @11:00AM (#30905374) Homepage Journal

      If a parent doesn't care about a kid's education then no, there's no way to get them to care. The trouble is the educators themselves talk up a good "parental involvement" but the fact is the only involvement they want from parents is fund raising.

      As a parent who cared about his kids' education this was an immense frustration to me.

      • by apt142 (574425)
        Do you think this is because of the quality of the teachers or the administrators? In my experience teachers are often very open to different avenues of parental involvement and new education approaches but are often handcuffed by bureaucracy and poor administrators. I'm hoping these funds will act like a big fat carrot to get these administrations to update their lines of thinking and adapt.
        • I'm hoping these funds will act like a big fat carrot to get these administrations to update their lines of thinking and adapt.

          More likely it will act like a big fat carrot to get these administrations to write up proposals as to why they need that money to keep doing things the way they always have. If it has to go to "innovation" they'll argue as to how the way they've always done things is "innovative".

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Definately the teachers. I'd go to a parent-teacher conference with my concerns, have the teacher agree completely, and then act as if there never was a conference. This wasn't just one teacher, either, it was all of them, with both daughters.

          I blame the low pay teachers get. It doesn't attract the best and brightest. I don't think any of my or my kids' teachers were Mensa candidates and I know for a fact my own teachers back in the stone age had IQs less than 100. I had an English teacher fail one of my pa

      • That's because teachers have to deal with parents who only show up once their little johnny gets an F for not turning in some assignment. The parents then call the school to complain about the teacher not giving little johnny a chance.

        I'm glad you have parents that cared, though. We need more of them.

    • But it might provide some motivated kids and teachers with some new tools and content to get a better education despite the system they're stuck in. For example, if only four kids want to take calculus at (say) Crenshaw in LA, they're screwed b/c you can't set up a calculus class with only four kids, without Jaime Escalante-like dedication from a teacher.

      But with online tools, you can potentially let those four kids learn with online programs and remote teacher interaction with less time required from local

    • No amount of money is going to get parents in failing schools to care about their kid's education.

      I'm going to go out on a limb and assume the majority of families in failing schools have more than one kid's education to care about, and that's probably the problem.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @10:36AM (#30904986) Homepage Journal

    The reason is two experiences: one me in school, and the other my youngest daughter in school.

    When I was a kid they came up with the "new math". Basically, it was a different way to do long division. The theory was that this new way better explained how numbers work, but in reality it did no such thing. All it did was to prevent my parents from helping with my homework, since I couldn't do long dividion like they did and they couldn't do it like I was taught. I was at a disadvantage for years, until I learned how to use a slide rule, which actually did teach me how numbers worked.

    When my daughter was in kindergarten they had a new thing called "invented spelling", and it was an unmitigated disaster. She still misspells many words the same way she misspelled them before she learned to read (she's 22 now).

    The truble with new teaching technologies is that unlike medical experiments, you can't do them on animals first. Test them on real kids and if the experiment fails, so do the children.

    • by jimbobborg (128330) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @10:41AM (#30905054)

      When my daughter was in kindergarten they had a new thing called "invented spelling", and it was an unmitigated disaster. She still misspells many words the same way she misspelled them before she learned to read (she's 22 now).

      The truble with new teaching technologies is that unlike medical experiments, you can't do them on animals first.

      I see you have truble spelling, too.

    • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @10:55AM (#30905292)

      "Invented spelling" is now a failure directly because of technology.

      The idea was good. Following a strict step by step procedure and stressing out and getting stuck is the right way to go math (?) but miserably fails for language arts. If you can't figure out one word, get on with life and finish the rest of the task. Its also a great way to learn to read, if you can't figure out one word, don't chuck the book across the room and go play donkey kong, just work around it, you'll figure it out later by osmosis or whatever. Its like solving an equation by successive approximation vs simple plug and chug.

      Now, before BBS leet speak, email, SMS, myspace, kids had good osmosis sources. I never learned anything in English classes in school, I learned English solely by osmosis from Clarke, Asimov, and whomever wrote the Tom Swift and Hardy Boys Mysteries.

      The bad news, is now kids learn English by osmosis from illiterate morons on myspace, youtube, rap videos, text messages, etc. That directly leads to:

      She still misspells many words the same way she misspelled them before she learned to read (she's 22 now).

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inventive_spelling [wikipedia.org]

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        The lesson is, have your kids read lots of real books before you let them on the internet or a cell phone. Hard to do these days, though.

      • Victor Appleton wrote Tom Swift, both series. That one I remember. I don't remember who wrote Hardy Boys.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        My spelling was terrible as a child. We had spelling tests every week, and I regularly got under 50%. It remained terrible until I was 14, at which point I was allowed to type most of my essays (GCSE coursework can be either handwritten or typed). I used Word 6, which underlined spelling mistakes in red. If I used a correct spelling, I could move on. If I used an incorrect one, there was immediate feedback and I had to interrupt my flow, make the correction, and then carry on. Lots of people criticise
      • The current research does not support your hypothesis:

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8468351.stm [bbc.co.uk]

        Texting in shorthand actually increases literacy levels and the ability to spell "real words" correctly.

        • I actually laughed out loud at that BBC article. Partly because I used to live in England and was amazed at the number of teenagers who never continued school beyond age 16 (and spent their afternoons loitering in Harrogate like brain-dead zombies, incessantly texting each other), but partly because that is one of the most laughable findings I've ever read. I'd like to see the full study to see what bias would actually allow an otherwise intelligent being to come up with the hypothesis that "txting is gr8 4

    • I've found that this kind of stuff is prevalent throughout all grades of school - and it annoys the hell out of me. I have a room-mate who went to the same school I did, one Grade Behind me. We both took full physics and chem 30 in high school. We were playing 1 vs 100 one night (It was actually like this weekend) and one of the questions was "The Quantum Particle known as the Gluon has an effect which force?" (or something to that effect) and the answers were A) Gravity B) Magnetism C) Strong Force.

      Turns o

    • by bill_kress (99356)

      DNA and family-learned patterns can have more to do with your life than you'd think.

      Some parents responded by learning "New Math" and helping their children. This would be a pretty good response.

      Some parents got tutors (other children) to help their children. Good response as well.

      Some parents just said "Figure it out, and if you can't--ask your teacher". Meh, reasonable response if you really don't want to put in the effort.

      The only BAD response would be avoiding your feelings of inadequacy by ranting a

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Some parents responded by learning "New Math"

        Bullshit, how would they learn? There were no books on the subject until the stupid thing had been done away with. There was no internet then, and it took a few years for a book to reach the bookstore, let alone the library.

        Some parents got tutors (other children) to help their children

        All the other kids were in the same boat. As with books, there were no tutors.

        Some parents just said "Figure it out, and if you can't--ask your teacher

        I did ask the teacher, who wa

  • To quote the fine article:

    To build support for the project, the group created three prototypes: an educational video game for biology students called Immune Attack; a game for museums, called Discovering Babylon; and a computer simulation to train firefighters in high-rise fires. They typify the projects the center will be looking to finance.

    So, basically, its about building a virtual simulation that costs more per user than doing something real? My guess is the immune system video game will cost more than buying books, microscopes, and slides. The Babylon museum game (wtf?) will cost more than a field trip to a real museum. The virtual fire fighting simulator will cost more than having the building trades class build a freaking building.

    The National Science Foundation, Mr. Grossman said, started in 1950 with a six-figure appropriation; its fiscal year 2009 appropriation was nearly $6.5 billion.

    Ahh, thats the goal, build a new bureaucracy. God knows we need more million d

    • The virtual fire fighting simulator does have one advantage: you can't die if you fail. Even a very carefully built real world training building is dangerous enough to kill the trainees. It's not a bad thing to give them detailed first person training in a simulator first. That and it's specifically for high-rises, which are not as cheap to build as you might hope. I've seen plenty of firefighter training video of fires in wooden structures maybe five stories tall. I've never seen firefighter training

  • Their Own DARPA?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by smitty777 (1612557) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @10:39AM (#30905014) Journal

    Sorry, the title of this article is pretty misleading. DARPA [darpa.mil]is working on missile defense and high energy laser technology. The current lofty plans for this group? Three video games.

    I laud this effort. It's something we desperately need to do to stay competitive. But there's no need to oversensationalize.

    • .. there's no need to oversensationalize.

      new here?

    • You obviously don't know what you are talking about. DARPA does (and did) many things besides working on missile defense and laser tech. You might remember Internet to be one of it. More modestly I actually work on a DARPA project for next generation electronics. Hardly something confined in missiles.
      • I'm well aware of that, as can be seen from the link I included with the original post. I was merely illustrating a point with a couple of examples. I've done a little work with DARPA too, my friend.

  • I nominate... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jonah Hex (651948) <hexdotms.gmail@com> on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @10:51AM (#30905216) Homepage Journal

    I hope they allocate some money for existing projects, personal favorites are LTSP [ltsp.org] and FOG Project [fogproject.org]; both of which are used in schools and my own personal computer lab for fun.

    I'd hate to see the money dumped into new projects that cost way too much, and don't do half of what already exists out there.

    Feel free to add your own, I can always use more bookmarks.

    Jonah HEX

    • Yes, I hope they give money to a free open source solution like FOG as well. Kidding aside, you're completely right. Projects can often be leveraged in new spaces with the proper application, which requires proper funding.
  • I admit, IMLS [imls.gov] doesn't do education in general, but they've been around for some time, and fund museums and libraries. US Dept. of Education has some grants for education ... so the only thing differentiating this one from stuff that's well established is that it's all about 'digital technologies'.

    I'm less than impressed. All that this is going to do is add bureaucracy. You're going to have people attempting to apply for grants at all of the available places, and with such limited funding, I wouldn't be s

  • That acronym still needs work (NCRAIDT?), but it's nice to see the Education Department taking responsibility for, you know, doing their job. There has been significant grumbling among some scientists that we've essentially been forced to include pre-university educational plans in our NSF research grants.

    • by mforbes (575538)
      My former father-in-law works for the Dept of Education. I once asked him "What exactly does the Department of Education do, anyway?"

      His response: "Are you sure you're not a Republican?"

      Thank goodness we've always gotten along!
    • People in the trade call this org "Digital Promise" - just fyi. It's been around for a couple of years - but it just got it's first funding allocation ($500k), which is what is making news.

  • What they need are the following things:

    1) A legal environment which bitch slaps parents who bring frivolous lawsuits.
    2) A competitive market for services.
    3) Less politicization.

    For God's sake, schools are considering getting rid of science classes [blogspot.com] because they "need more money for struggling minorities." That is how severe the need for privatizing and depoliticizing the process is. The politically correct would rather pull everyone down so that no one is left behind (because we're all not moving for
  • US public schools still have no common/minimal national curriculum. Before you, idiots, will start developing your "educational technologies" you will have to wrestle public school curriculum out of your States' hands.

    • by moeinvt (851793)

      "US public schools still have no common/minimal national curriculum."

      We have crap like the "No Child Left Behind" program and other Federal mandates.

      "Before you, idiots, will start developing your "educational technologies" you will have to wrestle public school curriculum out of your States' hands."

      That would be un-Constitutional, and even if it wasn't, the WORST thing we could do is entrust our education system to the Federal government.

      The Federal government has no enumerated power to interfere in the ed

      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        That would be un-Constitutional,

        For this right-wing wacko view of US Constitution, so is IRS.

        and even if it wasn't, the WORST thing we could do is entrust our education system to the Federal government.

        Except all other countries with better-educated population have just that.

        The Federal government has no enumerated power to interfere in the educational system, so we would need a Constituional Amendment to get education "out of the state's hands" Thank $deity that's never going to happen.

        Enjoy your fail, then.

  • Good idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lymond01 (314120) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @11:26AM (#30905836)

    I'm not certain how the bureaucracy is going to work, but there are tools being developed right now for education that are really kind of neat. If you ask almost any teacher, they'll tell you the biggest problem with teaching kids is simply keeping them awake in class. Tools that are designed to allow more interaction are important. Not all teachers can be Mr. Smith from Junior High who would dance on his desk while reading a chapter Dante's Inferno to the class or Mrs. Peabody who speaks in Olde English phrases for the entire two months of Shakespeare. So if someone can piece together technology to make your boring teachers fun again, I'm all for it.

    There's a tool developed by...I can never remember...I want to say somewhere in Washington State. Basically the teacher gives two students (volunteers) tablet PCs and she has her own. She projects her laptop, and the other two tablets can be viewed (along with her own) through a program on the rest of the students' laptops, phones, etc. She goes about teaching her course. The tablet students take notes through a piece of software, make adjustments to a copy of her slides, etc. The other students use the same software to view all this, including able to do cool things like highlight words and get quick definitions. It's sort of collaborative note-taking. And all of the teacher's original slides as well as all the notes from the tablet users are stored online for later viewing.

    How does this help? Because the tablet students may take notes you're not thinking of, right or wrong, and it opens your mind right there and then to alternative thoughts. You're not stuck re-writing what the teacher is doing and trying to think on it later. You're more engaged this way. But most importantly, you're paying attention, either to the teacher or the tablet users' writing. The teacher even said she doesn't really ever look back on the tablet users' notes. She'll occasionally hear giggles from the class but to her, that just means they aren't asleep.

    • by dcollins (135727)

      "There's a tool developed by...I can never remember...I want to say somewhere in Washington State. Basically the teacher gives two students (volunteers) tablet PCs and she has her own. She projects her laptop, and the other two tablets can be viewed (along with her own) through a program on the rest of the students' laptops, phones, etc. She goes about teaching her course. The tablet students take notes through a piece of software, make adjustments to a copy of her slides, etc..."

      I just about fell asleep re

    • I know the invention: reduce the number of students for which a student is responsible. Then he or she can interact more with the students. I need to get a patent on this process.
  • by d474 (695126) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @11:38AM (#30906002)
    It will never last with an acronym like that. Should have called it National Education by Research Department.
  • BitNet, is that you? SENDFILE, please!

  • Create open source course materials, and put all the textbook companies out of business! Textbooks should be a collaborative effort between teachers with decades of experience in real classroom settings, not work-for-hire by companies that have a vested interest in revising the text every year just to sell a few more copies. Of course, the lobbyists for the publishing houses might have some objections to this plan...
    • You do know that those are teachers hired to write the textbooks, right? In some cases, sad. But still true.
    • You may be closer to the mark than anyone else. There are active conversations going on in DC about how to open up the content and learning systems markets to more competition. And OSS could be one key driver to accomplish that.. Coping with lobbyists is going to be a big challenge, and I'm surprised no one prior to your comment mentions that one reason things are fouled up is the market incentives in education. It's not just "crack parents who don't care" "lazy teachers just pulling a paycheck" and "stude

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        Case in point: the Beaverton School district, after months of study, decided to set up a new math curriculum, throw out all their existing math textbooks, and replace them, at a cost of $70,000 for the first year alone. My initial reaction: please tell us the name of the teacher you plan to lay off to afford these textbooks, so that we can honor her with a going away party.
  • Or we could wean from the Ritalin and buy a few more textbooks.

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