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Education The Almighty Buck News

Schools To Get Their Own DARPA 151

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

    by smitty777 ( 1612557 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @11:39AM (#30905014) Journal

    Sorry, the title of this article is pretty misleading. DARPA []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.

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

    by Jonah Hex ( 651948 ) <> on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @11:51AM (#30905216) Homepage Journal

    I hope they allocate some money for existing projects, personal favorites are LTSP [] and FOG Project []; 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

  • No it does not. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @01:02PM (#30906382) Homepage Journal

    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 [] and understand the problem facing education in this country. This "new DARPA for schools" will simply increase the number of non educators in the system further burdening it. We all know we can't get rid of the people we have and as such we just have to get more from any new program. Until we get over it and start ditching people who are not needed in the education budget we will never improve it. Yes it is sad we don't need all of them, but like the milkmen of days gone by, society adjusts to changing needs.

    Since 1997, school staffing levels have increased by 23 percent, while our student population has decreased by 11.5 percent. The number of teacher's aides has gone up 43 percent. The number of support staff has gone up 48 percent. For every four fewer students a new teacher, teacher's aide or staff person was hired. There are 11 students for every teacher - the lowest ratio in the country - and a staggering five students for every adult in our schools. With personnel costs accounting for 80 percent of total school spending, it's no wonder that our K-12 system is among the most expensive in the nation at $14,000 per student per year.
    In most organizations, if your customer base is shrinking, you make adjustments to stay within budget and, at a minimum, you stop hiring. Although some will be quick to scold that "education is not a business," neither is Medicaid or public safety or environmental conservation. But in each of these areas, if we ignore the basics of prudent financial management, we imperil the services that we provide. Until labor costs in our schools are brought under control, taxpayers can expect their bills to grow every year and the onus of the property tax will continue to threaten a healthy economy.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @01:07PM (#30906488) Homepage Journal

    She was lucky the experiment was in spelling, and not math or other such subject. Ten times ten is always one hundred.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.