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Public Schools Supply Free Laptops. Who Needs Teachers?

Written by Gary North on May 4, 2012

Public high schools in Maine are buying laptops for students.

What does this tell us? That the school administrators are behind the curve. Tablets are where the action is. The administrators are two generations behind: netbooks (obsolete) and tablets.

The media focus of filters. The kids can get pornography. This means boys can get it. Girls get addicted to the written word: erotica. Boys are gawkers.

The schools are implementing filters. That will slow down access for maybe a week.

The only filter that works is ethical. The cost of access is now about zero. The barriers are gone. The gatekeepers can do nothing about it.

So, I focus not on the threat of pornography. I focus on the threat to public education.

By buying laptops for students, the school system is saying this.

Students cannot get a suitable education inside the fences of our schools. They need materials from outside the fences. These materials are close to unlimited. They keep multiplying. They are mostly free. Everything a student needs to get a first-rate education he can get on a laptop computer. So, the chief functions of public education are these: (1) providing tax-funded babysitting; (2) hiring mediocre teachers, which is all any district can afford (Pareto’s 20-80 law); (3) letting teachers recommend Websites to students; (4) Letting smart students teach themselves; (5) letting the best students teach each other by way of the Websites they find.

Any school district that fails to imitate Maine will be seen by educators as technologically backward. On the other hand, any school district that imitates Maine will expose itself to the parents as irrelevant academically. The schools then become centers for training athletes, low-cost brothels for teenagers, and drug emporiums. I wrote about public schools as drug emporiums back in 2001.

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5 thoughts on “Public Schools Supply Free Laptops. Who Needs Teachers?

  1. Mayflower Decendant says:

    I live in Maine and I've been totally against the state buying laptops since Angus King first did it when he was Govenor. Another very good reason not to vote for King as a Senator in Washington come this November! Baldacci did the samething and alot worse in his administration, another dumb Dem. We haven't had a good Gov in Maine for as long as I can remember till LePage and I can't believe he is doing the same as the others on this issue.

  2. websmith44 says:

    Wonder what percentage of the taxpayers have laptops or computers of any kind.

  3. The thing about government subsidizing anything is that the people accepting the subsidy have little choice despite what they think they are entitled to later. When looking at the big picture of government subsidies, if I have to be forced to subsidize their internet, I believe as the taxpayer footing the bill, I should have a say in what it's utilized for. I'm not a big government fan. In fact, I'm a no government fan but as long as I am forced to subsidize others education, I see no reason to provide them with after school entertainment in doing so, anymore than I see allowing foodstamp recepients to purchase steak, lobster and alcohol . Why should those who are subsidized have more or even the same choices as those forced to subsidize them?

  4. Maybe it's time to reiterate: you get what you pay for. Be grateful for what you've gotten that you didn't have to pay for and if you don't like the school, which is government operated, telling you what your kid on their subsidized internet can watch at home, then get them out of the public school and homeschool. I'm sorry but I'm not particularly sympathetic to the student's disappointment. And the free speech argument made doesn't strike me as free at all when someone else has to pay for it. In fact, I think it serves only to circumvent the root cause of the problem itself. Government intervention in virtually every facet of life and the Boobus Americanus who can't connect the dots. Maybe the parents are streaming Hulu at home? Gary made a good point and one I wanted to embellish on.

  5. This is great it simply shows how irrelevant union run skools are.