Education Letter to the Editor

Programmed-Instruction Software Is Hard to Get

May 17, 2005 1 min read

To the Editor:

Your article on possible changes in support for technology in public schools (“Federal Role Seen Shifting,” Technology Counts 2005, Special Issue, May 5, 2005.) had one glaring omission. There was no mention of software for programmed instruction.

As a public school classroom teacher in Scituate, Mass., for the past 33 years, I have requested on numerous occasions that our school system purchase software that has programmed instruction, whether it be English/language arts, math, social studies, or science. I’ve been told it’s too expensive or not available. I’ve also been told, off the record, that teachers’ unions have fought tooth and nail against the sale and distribution of this type of product for fear it could possibly eliminate teaching positions.

To that, I say: Bull!

I want what’s going to help me the most and, more important, what might benefit my students. A word-processing program, fine; guarded Internet access, fine; direct instructional software, fine; but where is the software for programmed instruction? Who is trying to keep this vital component out of our public schools?

Paul Hoss

Marshfield, Mass.