This started out as a comment over on "Enough with the whales!" but quickly grew into its own post here. Jaq was responding to this post from Michael Lopez. It bothers me too, so here is my take.

With budget problems abounding, school budgets keep going up. Districts are calling increases in funding "cuts." Granted the increases aren't as much as expected, but they are INCREASES.

Recently Jaq complained of the cliché "We can't keep throwing money at it," but it is partly true (the problem, around here at least, is that the people uttering the words were offering no solutions, only that "Test scores aren't up, so, no more money 'till they are"). Are these computers really the best use of the schools funds? How about using that money to keep more teachers, and keeping class sizes smaller?

In efforts to raise money through referenda, more than one district in the Twin Cities recently raised the rallying cry "Say yes to kids!" No shit? Who is going to say no to kids? Who hates kids? Not even republicans (They may sit around and hate homosexuals and not give a shit about the environment, but I have a hard time believing that they get together and say "Know what I hate? Kids."). We need to figure out why test scores are low, and maybe re-direct current funding away from technology in the classroom, and not send in the ergonomics expert to completely re-furnish the Dean's office to the tune of $5,000, when all she wanted was a new desk chair that had functioning casters (true story).

I never used a computer before college. Well, except the Apple IIe at the library to play some fantasy game, the name of which I cannot recall (Adam?). In my journalism classes, we used triplicate layout sheets to design our yearbook pages. We crop-marked the photos with Sharpies, and sent them back to the photo lab. We TYPED (as in typewriter) our copy onto triplicate forms. All of this was outdated at the time. Important were the layout and design principals, the journalistic ethics (don't get me started on this) and the writing principals. Translating these skills to a computer came quite easy. Learning the technology is a cinch, it is the underlying base that should be the focus. Besides the technology will be out-dated by the time they enter the "real world."

I hope this is somewhat coherent, I've not had nearly enough sleep.


Well put.

Over at Stuff About Whales, Jaquandor brings up the issue of some countries wish for an increase in commercial whaling. The fact that any still goes on pisses me off.

I am quite shocked and disappointed with the people of Iceland (one of my favorite places to have been) on this issue. From a nation that is otherwise quite progressive, this just renders me speechless.

Well almost. Iceland passed laws allowing gay marriage in 1996. Reykjavik recently became the first place in the world to open a hydrogen re-fueling station, despite the fact that there are only three fuel-cell vehicles in the country, all busses. Iceland also has the attitudes (and resources) to ensure that the production of the hydrogen fuel is also pollution free. Whaling though, I just don't get it.

As far as the cultural argument goes, well, it is a load of crap. It would be akin to the US telling Canada to quit whining about acid rain, because polluting is part of our culture.