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Sunday, April 15, 2012

CCS's 1:Global Technology report announced 4/14/12 - a totally incomplete project plan

Here is Dr. Rod Rock's 4/14/12 announcement for the 1:Global Technology report that was published 4/14/12 after being presented to the school board on 4/9/12.    
"Please follow this link to a letter introducing CCS's 1:Global Technology report, which is related to the technology portion of the May 8 bond election:
Follow this link directly to the report:

Thank you,
Rod Rock, Ed.D"


This report is mostly the missing material from the 4/9/12 school board meeting's board packet that Matt McCarty, the district IT director, and Sean Ryan, the deputy superintendent, presented at the 4/9/12 board meeting...  It was the first view of the pilot programs presented to the CCS School Board by administration.  The pilot programs were implemented at the beginning of the 2011/2012 school year, but they STILL have not presented any evidence of success (or failure) of the pilot programs.

It was being presented as existing curriculum (because it is being used in certain classrooms), but curriculum changes, per policy, must be presented by administration to the board and approved by the board before they are implemented, but Dr. Rock never came to the board for approval of the curriculum changes.  Unfortunately, I am not surprised.  I brought this to his attention months ago and I was roundly ignored. 

The technology project group has done preliminary work analyzing some possible equipment to be purchased under the $20 million bond request that will be voted on by the voters on May 8th, 2012.  The report shows their work.

However, this is a great deal of money at stake and the district has not yet done sufficient planning to be asking for a $20 million bond this soon.

  1. Very few of the documents on the 1 to Global Technology Report that were in the board packet matched what was presented at the 4/9/12 board meeting.  The board members didn’t get the presented documents until after the meeting began and only after Mrs. Patterson asked for it.  This type of sandbagging by the district is not new and it must stop!   
  2. The technology initiative is a major, very visible project. It needs/needed a skilled project manager.  The district may even have been able to have gotten volunteer assistance from the public.  With all the time the district was supposedly working on the plans for the technology project in the district, how could they have possibly come to this point, less than a month before the bond election, with so many undecided variables in the plan?  
  3. The presentation at the 4/9/12 board meeting did not reflect that the "project team" was aware of the real costs for the H/W that they were looking at.  Is the district backing the technology hardware costs to be chosen into the initial budget of $10 million?  Since the district severely down-leveled the plans for Pre-K to 5th grade, I have a feeling they may have gotten sticker shock over some of the costs in the last few weeks. 
  4. An “App” is not a textbook.  There was talk previously about replacing the student’s heavy books with the wireless devices, but I have not seen anything in the project pricing about the purchase of e-books.  Will there be a new bond in a year or two asking the public to fund the purchase of e-books for all of the classes for all of the students?   There is no budget noted in their plans for any books to replace all of the books currently being used in the district, so the kids should apparently get used to still bringing home heavy books, unless all of the teachers will be creating their own "Apps" for teaching their material and ditching school books altogether.
  5. This report does not go into any detailed costs per unit or quantities.  Apparently they want us to trust them.  
  6. What happens if a student's device breaks?  He/she can't do school work for a week, or two, or three? 
  7. What happens if, after the purchase of devices, there are more students that come to the district than they purchased iPads for and there are no more iPads available on the open market to be purchased (new technology is out there)?  
  8. There are many expenses involved in the ownership of technology equipment.  The district is not taking all of those expenses into consideration.  If they had hired an IT project manager to come up with a project plan, they might have a plan that could be trusted to be correct.  At best, this is an overly optimistic, totally incomplete plan.  At worst, it is grossly under-costed and doomed to be under funded.
  9. They should also probably consider pricing in liability insurance for lawsuits from the parents of students made ill by the Wi-Fi technology...  

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