Sunday, March 06, 2011

Here's an Example of What's Wrong With OSPI

Last week they put out a press release touting an agreement with a company called ESRI to make a license for their product available to every school in the state.

I don't know their software--it looks nice enough based on the website, I suppose--but what I do know is that if OSPI is buying shiny toys during the worst economic downturn that most of us have ever seen, that's a problem.

I've been teaching long enough to see how this goes. Somebody with distance from the classroom falls in love with a program, and the next thing we know there's a site license and a training on how to use the thing. Some teachers, though, opt out. Eventually the whole thing peters out. The money is wasted.

Essentially, it's a local control argument, and this press release shows that OSPI doesn't get it. If school districts want this, then let school districts get it. Buying this thing for everyone from Selkirk to Seattle is a waste, because even if 90% use it you've tossed away the money on the 10% who won't. Here you have OSPI not only making the purchase but touting it as an effort that is worth their time, and that's a pretty good insight into the thinking of the Dorn administration.

I've put in an email to find out what the contract was worth. That'll be an interesting number.

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Blogger The Science Goddess said...

Hate to disappoint you, but the software is all free. There is no cost to the state.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

That's nice, I guess, but if it's true, then why does OSPI need to be involved at all? Free software should be something school districts could do on their own, without OSPI spending their time.

1:44 PM  

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