I watched what I could of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) budget discussion last night at the Howard County Board of Education meeting (still waiting on it to be available this morning to watch all of it). I did not see all of it (had other things to do) but here are a couple of early morning notes:

  1. A magic $3.3 million was found coming into this meeting (I have lots of comments on that…stay tuned).
  2. There were a lot of advocates at the meeting for paraeducators and RSTs [reading support teachers], MSTs [math support teachers] and MISTs [math instructional support teachers]…they all got additional funding last night.
  3. I did not see (while I watched) any discussion about funding the proposed technology teacher positions on the chopping block…even after finding $3.3 million in additional funding

From the outside looking in…purely from a public view…looks like if you have advocates show up…you get funding…and if you do not…you get nothing….just ask the tech folks.

On Monday...the music and GT folks got their money…last night, paras and support teachers got money…but the tech folks did not.

$3.3 million in newly found funds yesterday would have paid for funding ALL tech positions and ALL para positions (per the cut and spending document in the past)…but the board decided to go another way…there was no easy decision for the board…but it felt like tech got the shaft because they did not have a support group at the meetings.

I understand how difficult a position the HoCoBOE members were put in with this budget. No choice they made was going to be a popular one. Someone was going to be upset no matter what they did.

I feel bad that technology took the big hit in this budget season and got no love yesterday. In a world run by technology in almost all positions once the kids leave schools…cutting that seems wrong to me. I am a technology person…it is what I do for a living…and know how important it is to start kids early in learning this skill.

I have lots more on the HCPSS budget…but thought I would start with this…stay tuned…more to come later today and tomorrow.

If there is a HCPSS tech teacher that would like to chat and/or write up a guest blog post…email me at scott@scotteblog.com.

Scott E

5 COMMENTS

  1. Dr. Wu talked about the importance of technology education at the start. However, it did not generate enough interest unfortunately.

    • Wu is very big into AI and I think he doesn’t get that sitting kids in front of computer screens isn’t providing them with an authentic education. Wu worships “data” but children are more than data points garnered from online testing and “drill and kill”, fake education platforms. Tech education, especially K-5 is just ridiculous. My kids were in the IPad program at the MS level and what the kids did with these computers was watch you-tube videos and play Fortnite (and other computer games). Google collected data (which was breached and sold) and the kids were marketed by pop up ads from Google. At lunch the kids would be staring blankly into computer screens playing games instead of eating and socializing. We wonder why kids behave the way they do?…..well they don’t live in reality, they live in a virtual reality supplied through computer platforms.

      • Dr. Wu does in fact understand the job. He is an HCPSS parent and has spent time volunteering in an Elementary Technology class. I applaud him for learning more about the position.

  2. I know I will take heat, but technology class in elementary school is/was just useless. This could be an hour that would be better off used for unstructured recess for children. The kids of today are “digital natives” and what they get using a home computer or smart phone is more than they get in elementary school technology classes. It was a waste of time when I observed it (and my children went to a Title I ES). Everything that is “taught” is point and click which even the kids who didn’t have a home computer could quickly learn. The only reason to be sitting young kids in front of computers like this is so that the entire school system can be converted over to “Personalized Learning” or “CBL”(which really isn’t personalized in any which way or form) which is a way to get rid of the entire teaching profession. The whole idea is a room full of kids 30-40 kids sitting in front of computers doing “drill and kill” skills with a “guide on the side”. GOOD!!! I hope the teachers don’t lose their jobs, but are placed in other teaching positions, but I am glad to see this go.

    • @LisaM- its really sad that your view of the Technology class in HCPSS is “drill and kill” as that is simply not the case. Elementary Technology teachers are knowledgeable in grade level curriculum from K-5. The job is to meaningfully take students’ classroom knowledge and teach them how to use Technology to be productive. Yes, today’s kids are “digital natives”, and while that means that my 4 year old can unlock and navigate a variety of devices, it doesn’t mean that he can produce content or show his knowledge. Students will learn coding on their own if they are interested (and if their families have the means). However I’m sure most students aren’t sitting down in their “free time” to learn valuable tools such as creating presentations, creating and formatting documents, internet safety, keyboarding skills, and so much more. Classroom teachers simply don’t have the time or knowledge to teach this part to their students.

      Technology teachers are also responsible for Professional Development for classroom teachers so that when they do use Technology in the classroom, it is meaningful- not just playing. I encourage you, and anybody for that matter, to educate yourself on the roles and importance of the Technology position from this following link https://www.hcpss.org/academics/instructional-technology/

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