Teachers have known for a while that their jobs were in jeopardy. There has been a push to get teachers to become facilitators in the classroom versus instructors in education. You can see it in the Nellie Mae publications and grant applications focused on “student centered learning.” You can see it being pushed by the education establishment and ed tech companies that will profit off of their tech products.
The corporate backers like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and former Governor Jeb Bush, have all backed redesigning public ed into the dumbed-down workforce model. Just look at who Trump nominated for U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.
Betsy DeVos served on the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a group led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. We’ve gone from Corporate education reform under Obama to Corporate education reform under Trump.
The Philanthropy Roundtable that Betsy DeVos chaired put out a report strongly in favor of massive data mining of students.
The Philanthropy Roundtable, which DeVos chaired, published a report called Blended Learning: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Supporting Tech-assisted Teaching that lauds the Dream Box software that “records 50,000 data points per student per hour”(p.33 of pdf) and does not contain a single use of the words “privacy,” “transparency” [as in who receives that data and how it is used to make life-changing decision for children], or “consent.”
Will DeVos continue to promote the corporate data-mining efforts of enterprises such as Dream Box and Knewton, whose CEO bragged about collecting “5-10 million data points per user per day,” described in your organization’s report?
In addition, this means less teachers in working in the school district. That may save on personnel costs but does this improve academic outcomes?
(p.37 of pdf)
The Learning Lab model allowed Rocketship to operate with roughly six fewer teachers per school, meaning that “we save 25 percent of salary costs,” says Danner. “When you have that, you can grow without raising additional capital.” Even after paying its smaller number of teachers better than other schools, Rocketship is able to educate a child for about 15 percent less than California’s annual per-pupil allotment, and it plows that margin of funds into, among other things, teacher training and opening new schools. Hence, the model should be able to expand like successful businesses do, without constantly needing new nancial angels or capital infusions.
The PUSH for computerized learning versus teachers instructing children, is part of the agenda within the Corporate reform model. This is a great way for the tech industry to make profits, but where is the data that it benefits students?
It’s up to school boards and parents to make sure that if computers are replacing teachers it’s not a shift in costs from a qualified teacher to a tech industry focused on profits with no real benefits to children.
Remember to ask for PROOF that the computer based instruction is better for your children in terms of screen time and academic progress. If there is a reduction in instruction from teachers, should there be a reduction in salaries and benefits to the teaching staff?
If you are parent with children in the public school system and concerned about the data-mining, look for ways to use materials that are not connected to technology devices. In other words, ask for a book for your child to read instead. Having the tech industry in a position to collect all kinds of data points on your children means that once this information is out there, it most likely can never be removed. Where will it end up? Who will control the information stored on your child?
For more information check out: What’s Better in the Classroom – Teacher or Machine?