Florida to spend half billion dollars to wire schools so kids can take tests on-line

From the I can’t make this up file Florida has hit a new low
in its testing madness. On the heels of stealing three percent from teachers
and dozens of superintendents and school boards asking the state to slow down
on tests they are proposing to spend nearly a half billion dollars to wire
schools so kids can take tests.

From the Tampa Times Grade Book, by
Jeff Solochek
The days of all-computerized state
testing are fast approaching for Florida schools. The push toward digital
textbooks and instructional materials also is moving quickly.
But many schools built more than
five years ago lack the infrastructure to make the move. They don’t have
adequate electrical wiring or internet Wi-Fi capability to handle the load.
The Florida Board of Education has
proposed a 2013-14 budget of $441.8 million to outfit schools with internet
bandwidth, wireless capacity and other technology tools. There’s some talk in
Tallahassee that the request will get serious consideration among
lawmakers, who already have been asked by Gov. Rick Scott to give all full-time
classroom teachers a $2,500 raise.
“We’ve got to put resources
in that area” of technology, said Sen. John Legg, chairman of the Education
Policy committee and a member of the Education Appropriations committee.
“The Senate proposal we’re putting together is pretty aggressive to do
He expected a bill to emerge in
the next few weeks that will look at a two-year plan to improve schools’
computer capabilities. The bill also will include other overarching issues
including more closely connecting education standards to college and employment
Legg told the Gradebook that he
hoped to keep the discussion tightly focused on “real reform” such as
these ideas, with a longer-range impact, and away from politically-tinged

“It’s my desire to get
these long-term policy initiatives up and out early in session,” he said,
noting that some heated debate could surround the proposals. “It’s my
desire not to get distracted.”


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