To the Editor:
Regarding “N.Y.C. Innovation Zone Tests Personalization,” (March 17, 2011): We assume that technology will make our students smart or intelligent. We all agree that wearing uniforms will not make our students smarter, yet we assume that the uniform distribution of computers in a school will do the trick. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the average difference in public vs. private school mean test scores ranged from public schools scoring lower by almost 8 points in math to 18 points in reading. Our public school students will never be able to compete with the wealthier, healthier, and happier students in society. Students in many private schools are socialized emotionally, mentally, and academically, and deliberately trained for success.
Our public schools continue to be one failing experiment after another. At many schools, where 95 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, teachers are thankful for tools to help address diverse classroom needs. In early February, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled a budget proposal that included a $580 million cut in state aid to New York City schools. New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has threatened to eliminate more than 6,000 teaching positions, or one out of every 12 regular education teachers in the city, through layoffs and attrition. The answer to these statistics is a lifeless computer program.
Analysis of the most recent data from the new New York state school report cards does not give me any confidence that iZone schools are doing well.
New York, N.Y.
A version of this article appeared in the April 06, 2011 edition of Education Week as Tech Won’t Compensate for Cuts to Teaching Force