Friday, September 9, 2016

Washington Post: Toys in classrooms won’t help with the achievement gap

Toys in classrooms won’t help with the achievement gap 
Letter to the Editor 9/9/2016
If new Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith’s top priority is narrowing the achievement gap, which he called a “moral imperative,” then the excessive investment in Chromebooks and WiFi in the classrooms must be addressed. Providing in the classroom what are essentially toys that have potentially serious health side effects is not the way to go.
I know from my children at MCPS that, with Internet access, students are watching Netflix, shopping and playing games rather than doing their work. Nicholas Kardaras, author of “Glow Kids,” found that tech in the classroom leads to worse educational outcomes for kids. Moreover, an exhaustive meta-study conducted by Durham University in 2012 that reviewed 48 studies examining technology’s impact on learning found that “technology-based interventions tend to produce just slightly lower levels of improvement when compared with other researched interventions and approaches.”
Surely the millions Montgomery County spent on the Chromebook rollout could have gone to better use.
Laura Simon, Potomac


  1. MCPS didn't buy Chromebooks to close the achievement gap. School systems purchased them for state tests, such as PARCC, which are all on computers. The school system had no choice since it has to test thousands of students in a small time period.

    1. Wrong. MCPS purchased way more than would be needed for PARCC testing.

      MCPS absolutely had a choice in what they bought and in how many they bought and how they bought them.

      Try again.

    2. Funny.....because there always seems to be a shortage of usable/workable Chromebooks for PARCC testing.....


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