Adam Turoff on Sat, 6 Sep 2003 00:39:04 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] Microsoft Run High School?

On Fri, Sep 05, 2003 at 12:07:36PM -0400, Chris Mann wrote:
> On Fri, 2003-09-05 at 11:45, George Gallen wrote:
> > no I wasn't referring to the students, I was referring to the school.
> > Say, the Year book committee would rather use a Mac for typesetting 
> > their yearbook, or the science dept would rather have a unix machine.
> I wonder if they really looked into this or if this was a decision made
> without due dilegence. Some how, I just can see this as being the *best*
> or *right* choice. 

This is about *one* high school.  And a *very* small one at that.

When I went to Northeast High *mumble* years ago, there were something
like 2500 students in the building, 10th through 12th.  It's now 9th
through 12th, overcrowded and on shifts.  There are two other high
schools in District 8 (Washington and Lincoln), which were larger, and
presumably still are.

My graduating class stared with close to 1000 students in the September
of our sophmore year, dipped to 730 two years later, and graduated with
690.  Ours was a small graduating class.  

This *entire* school Microsoft will be partnering with will serve 700
students, 9th through 12th.  Yep, that's a small school.  And you have to
choose to attend; it's not a neighborhood school.

Philadelphia has at least 12 public high schools (probably over 20, but
I don't remember offhand).  If they average 2500 students each, there are
roughly 30,000 high school students in the system *minimum*.  My guess is
that the number might be closer to 40,000 with all high schools going 9-12

And all of this furor over Microsoft's involvement in a school of 700 set
to open three years hence.  They want to see if PocketPCs, TabletPCs,
electronic textbooks, WiFi and whatnot help the high school experience.

I say let them.  Let them show how much it costs to keep 700 students
using that equipment for four years -- hardware costs, licensing costs,
training, security, support and maintenance costs, whatever.  They want
to make the sales, so let them prove it's feasable.

We should have a verdict by June 2011.

Those are some pretty big odds.  If it succeeds, it'll be easier convincing
other school districts to use Linux -- smaller support staffs, fewer
security-related interruptions, cheaper hardware, longer lifespan, yadda
yadda yadda.  Voicing objections that Microsoft is Evil doesn't move
anyone's agenda forward.  Most of all it ahurts the school district, which
is trying to find ways to build new schools without saddling the taxpayer
with all of the costs.

If you don't like it, save your objections for November.


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