Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cuomo's Education Bond Puts State's Environment At Risk

Sheriff Andy wants to invest $2 billion in technology for schools so that students can take tests on computers and their teachers can be evaluated using so-called state of the art technology.

That's not exactly what he said when he called for a $2 billion bond for education technology, but that's what many observers think he wants the money for (i.e., the infrastructure for the PARCC tests.)

Scott Waldman at Capital NY reports that Cuomo's pushing of the education bond has an even more obvious downside:

ALBANY—Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed education bond act might put an iPad in the hands of every student, but a chance to fix the state's leaky sewage infrastructure would go down the drain.

The $2 billion education bond act floated by Cuomo in Wednesday's State of the State speech would get computers, tablets and high-speed broadband into every school across the state. But it will also effectively kill off any chance of a $5 billion environmental bond that would pay for sewer upgrades, drinking water protection, climate change adaptation, improved air quality and farmland protection.

Only one bond plan can be put to voters statewide vote a year and it must be for a single purpose, according to the state Budget Office.

Cuomo made it clear Wednesday that he'll put his weight behind the education initiative, not environmental improvements, on the same ballot where his name will appear in November.

Screw the clean drinking water and sewage systems that don't leak - Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch want an education bond that will effectively hand over $2 billion to their companies (as well as other technology companies) and Sheriff Andy is happy to comply.

Having seen how little improvement the iPads have done for LA's school children, or how little the Amplify tablets have helped students in North Carolina, it's difficult to justify the education bond over the environmental bond - especially when so much of the money will simply go to consultants, tech companies and edu-entrepreneurs.

But I'm sure Sheriff Andy will get his way on this and we'll soon see $2 billion in bond money heading the way of the consultants, tech companies and edu-entrepreneurs.

Many of these people are so corrupt that no matter how much money you throw their way, the expanded broadband and Internet access never happens.

A few years ago, Bloomberg said there was no money for teachers and he had to lay some off even as he was expanding technology spending in schools by $542 million.

The goal was expanded broadband and Internet access in every school.

The money got spent, all right, but the expanded broadband and Internet access did not come.

Andy's education bond is aimed at getting the technology infrastructure up for the PARCC tests, but given how this kind of money has been wasted in the past, I would think Sheriff Andy's great grand son will be governor before that goal is reached.

This money could be spent on something useful - either for the environment (like fixing drinking water and sewage systems) or for education (like lowering class sizes and building new schools.)

Sheriff Andy has instead chosen to waste it on a tech boondoggle.


  1. Wow- this is so brazen! Less students per classroom, more arts and music, better atheletics, all proven to increase learning, even to increase test scores, get the shaft for one of the biggest 'environmental' factors of poor learning: digital dementia. madness

    1. But more money for tech consultants and tech companies! And isn't that what makes us all better people?

  2. Is it possible that the purpose $2 billion in technology for schools is to support the goal of the reformers: personalized learning? Someone, somewhere decided personalized learning is the goal of education reform. The foundations, the billionaires, the politicians, corporate leaders and others who will financially profit, the pseudo-educators (people with little or no experience teaching who hold important decision making roles in education) are complicit. How sad that in our democratic society, the voices of those who should be involved in educational reform (those of educators), are not asked to speak!

    1. The goal is to make it easier for testing, online schooling, etc. Yes, no doubt. We use online learning for students who have failed classes in the past, and it has been a miserable failure. Students actually hate the programs, rarely complete the work. But the company gets paid...