National Educational Technology Plan– My Critique

National Educational Technology Plan
Friday, July 22, 2011

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The National Educational Technology Plan begins with the belief that education is central to the growth and prosperity of America. [This is the fundamental mistake of this plan. We have way too many college graduates now, including in STEM.] Without a high quality education, we will not be able to compete in the global economy. [It is not the education of the masses that led to our economic successes. It was the spoils of war, WWII. This success allowed us to education my more people more years. So, you have it backwards. If there is a cause-effect relationship between the two, it is that the booming economy allowed the education to increase. More proof: The US became the largest economy in the world in about 1880, when almost nobody was graduating high school. The rich abused a large number of immigrants and became richer. By 1920 (The Roaring ‘20s) about 20% graduated high school and in and during the 1930s it was about 30% high school graduation rate. Both were record highs in our nation’s history and yet during the 1930s we had the highest unemployment rate in our history. Again, tell me education of the masses caused the great economy. Again, now we have the highest educated workforce in our history and yet jobs are scarce. During this last ‘recession’ or short depression, we had over 9% unemployment rate (actually it was about double that). At the height of the Great Depression we had 25% unemployment. But 9% of 300 million is more than 25% of 100 million (it is equal to 27%). So, we have had more people unemployed now than back in the 1930s. Again, about 90% of all people either have a high school diploma or GED, and more than 1/3 have a college degree. So, again, tell me that education causes economic prosperity.] There are two goals of this technology plan. The first is to raise proportion of college graduates from 41% to 60% by the year 2020. [This is another impossible goal set by the President, which should not even be involved with education in the first place. Notice he will be long gone from office by the 2020 deadline. He will not be responsible when it fails.] The second goal is to equip all high school graduates with the necessary skills to achieve in college.  This is a large goal. [It is another impossible goal.] Many high school graduates get to college and are overwhelmed and not able to complete college. [Which is why they should not go to college. It is called IQ. College should be for the best and brightest, highest IQ’d people, say the top 25%. If we graduate 41% now we graduate way too many as it is. Approximately 54.5% of all college graduates, in the US, are NOT in jobs that require a college degree. Student college loan debt is the single biggest public debt we have. Tell me we need more college graduates.]  We need to narrow the achievement gap by raising the standards that we have in high school. [No do we do not.] This will meet resistance from a struggling economy.  Many states, including Texas, are cutting budgets and money that goes into education.  We must bring up our students with cost effective strategies that require a deeper knowledge. [They do NOT need to taught in depth. They need to be taught in broad. They need to be exposed to more history, English, etc. They DO NOT need to be taught using technology/computers. Computers have never been shown to be cost effective or even effective. There has never been a cost/benefit analysis done. There has never been a comparison between teaching with technology and traditional methods, at least not a valid one.] Technology is vital to our everyday lives. [Actually most of it we can live without.] If this plan is to succeed, it must incorporate technology.  The plan calls for technology based learning and collaboration. [Again, not necessary, neither of these.]  Collaboration is crucial for teachers. When we share our best teaching practices, everyone benefits. The best teachers I know tell me that they learned everything from other teachers. Collaborating with our co-teachers improves our teaching ability. We should strive to collaborate as much as possible and share our best lessons. [Yes I agree, since they do not know much about other subjects they need to collaborate, but they should NOT. They teach in one area and it should be that way.] Technology can assist with this collaboration effort. [Again, neither is necessary.] Many school districts have SharePoint sites or blogs that teachers can post links and lessons. [Why post anything?]  With the proper use of technology, we can meet the highest standards we set for our students.


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