Schools more than ready for 1:1 tech plan
The letter from Karen C. Lilly-Bowyer in the Post on May 18 started with a paragraph that is factually false. Logically, the suppositions that follow it are too.
The 1:1 Technology Plan is, without a doubt, a proven strategy for improving student learning, comprehension and test scores. Here are the facts.
Fact: Every school within the Mooresville Graded School System has been recognized by the state as a School of Distinction. Every single one.
Fact: They are one of only six out of a total of 115 school districts in the entire state of North Carolina to achieve 54 out of 54 District AYP Goals.
Fact: Their composite score on all North Carolina EOC and EOG tests has them tied for fourth highest in the state. All indications are that they will soon be number one. They must be doing something right.
Fact: Not only are visitors coming from all over North Carolina to see how the program is done, they are coming from all over the United States. These visitors include school district personnel from the North Carolina counties of Alexander, Burke, Moore, Randolph, Wake and Watauga; and from the states of Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin; and even from as far away as Canada. This is an abbreviated list.
Fact: Mooresville Graded School District is so busy now with visitor requests to see their successful program that they have to manage it with a waiting list.
Fact: The district’s success has been written about by Apple, Cisco, PBS, Educational Leadership Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Rowan is exceptionally fortunate to have this resource right in our own backyard.
Comparing Los Angeles County Schools to any school system in North Carolina is faulty reasoning. More similar to comparing apples to refrigerators than apples to oranges.
Fact: Los Angeles County School District covers over 720 square miles with 1,087 different schools and is the second largest school district in the United States. All of Rowan County is only 524 square miles and we have only 35 schools. Compare that with Iredell County at 597 square miles and 45 schools. Which is a more fair comparison with Rowan?
Fact: As far as per pupil spending goes, the Mooresville Graded School District is 101 out of 115 in the state. They spent less than 100 other school districts in the entire state.
Fact: It is exceedingly obvious that the Mooresville Graded School District is getting top ranked student performance for less money than 87 percent of all school districts in the state.
Fact: Dr. Lynn Moody’s presentation states clearly that no new money is required. The money is already in the budget.
Mrs. Lilly-Bowyer cites “numerous articles from educational journals” with just one that “suggests that teachers should be trained in digital instruction for at least one year before the program begins.” It sounds suspiciously like she has been listening to complaints from some not yet retired teacher peers who have a fear of learning anything new.
This is in direct opposition to the world our children are growing up in. Like it or not, the computer age is here to stay. Even today’s ditch diggers use digital devices to determine where, what length and what depth to dig the ditch.
The fact that Rowan’s test scores are significantly below the state average is the very reason that we need this program now. Right now. Coddling personnel that are unwilling to embrace positive change is an especially weak argument for putting off one more moment implementing this program that is crucial for the benefit of all of Rowan County’s children and the community we all live in.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines criticizing and making dubious comparisons, lend your talents as an educator to make this important initiative happen for all of Rowan County.
Todd R. Stiller is a resident of Rowan County.
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