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High Tech High 2.0 146

theodp writes "A week ago, in his How to Keep America Competitive Op-Ed, Bill Gates touted the Gates Foundation-backed High Tech High as the future of American education. One small problem. Two days earlier, tearful Bay Area High Tech High students — recruited by a Bill Gates video — were told that their school of the future has no future. So would Bill be too embarrassed to lay out his education plan before the Senate Wednesday? Nah. Not too surprisingly though, mentions of High Tech High were MIA in Bill's prepared remarks (PDF), which touted Philly's imaginatively named $65M School of the Future, built under the guidance of Microsoft, as the new school of the future. Committee politicians reportedly embraced virtually all of the suggestions made by Gates."
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High Tech High 2.0

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  • Re:naturally (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Capt James McCarthy ( 860294 ) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @11:35AM (#18276610) Journal
    I don't think they want to necessarily _be_ him, but what they do want to have happen is M$ come in and fork out some cash to help build 'better' schools in their districts. (and provide kickbacks, extra cash flow, visibility, etc...etc...etc..)
  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @12:01PM (#18276944)
    I read the article and don't think I remembered hearing about parents at all.

    That may be intentional or not & might be true or not in the actual school experience, that parents are ignored, but without parent involvement, encouragement & support, there will not be the achievement that everyone wants.
  • by lackey.needed ( 1073294 ) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @12:46PM (#18277552)
    When you have billions and throwing it around politicians are definitely going to kiss your ass and the press will to. Bill's schools are dropping like flies, and he happily deflects blame because money will keep the ideas moving whether or not they are worth a shit. In Denver, one of the high schools he funded fell flat on its face. It was exposed in a Business Week article entitled "Bill Gates Gets Schooled" (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_2 6/b3990001.htm), but not really exposed that much.

    "We view the decision to move Manual students to other schools as an admission of complete failure," Denver Public School Superintendent Michael F. Bennet wrote in April to two former Denver mayors who had been involved with the school. Concedes Van Schoales, president of the nonprofit that manages Gates grants in Colorado: "We were trying to build a plane as we were taking off, and we crashed."
    Van was fired along with the rest of his crew by the next person to head up the department at the Colorado Small Schools Initiative while the media deflected blame from the now Lt governor of Colorado Barbara O'Brien. The city was out a school on the taxpayers dime, a million bucks was blown but more is on the way, and media folks got promotions. You have to love America.
  • Re:Are you saying... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GringoCroco ( 889095 ) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @12:55PM (#18277678)
    There's more to the blue color than what meets the BSOD
    quiting from the dress code pdf on HTH's website:

    In order to make HTHB a community where everyone feels safe, until further notice there will be restrictions on red and blue clothing.[...]
    • Shirts that are both red and blue are permitted
    • Shirts that have some red/blue such as plaid designs, are permitted as long as red/blue are not the main colors that stand out
    • Light blue and pink are permitted
    • Blue jeans are permitted
    • No solid red/blue clothing including undershirts that are visible
    • No solid red/blue belts, laces, jewelry, or hair accessories
  • Ray of Hope (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HycoWhit ( 833923 ) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:06PM (#18279320)
    If computer history has taught us anything--it is the mighty companies get very few mistakes. Remember when IBM, Visicalc, Novell, and WordPerfect ruled the industry. Vista will never run on 90% of the machines in my county's school district. Many still run Windows 98 and many servers are Win2K--none of which are supported by Microsoft. The cost of hardware and software upgrades to support future Microsoft products is infeasible.

    Next week I'll be attending a conference bringing all the state technical educators together. (I'll leave the actual state name out.) One of the themes is how to remove Microsoft from the class room. Instead of teaching MS Office, seems folks are starting to think teaching OpenOffice and/or Google Docs/Spreadsheets will do just as good of job of teaching the student's basic skills.

    A few years ago the idea of a Google OS seemed crazy--now I only hope Google or someone else has a bare bones operating system in the works that could replace Windows on all classroom machines. Much of the learning has shifted to web based technologies, not much of OS would be needed.

    Certain does seem as if the glory days of Microsoft are fading fast.

  • by tc-powdertoastman ( 1073374 ) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:24PM (#18279590)
    I live in Wichita, KS and I can tell you that this most recent move (seemingly) to a (possibly the?) $65M school of the future is a bit behind the times. Great concept, but "dude, that's a lot of cash." Some of you might already know that Wichita, KS is the "air capital of the world." Regardless of whether or not any of us is willing to go quite that far with that particular description of Wichita, everyone must know that the Wichita economy is driven by what I call "affective hit points." That basically means that Boeing, Cessna, Ratheon(Beechcraft), Learjet and Bombardier all rolled up are a big giant, living machine that requires a lot of resources and even more labor to utilize those resources and ultimately produce aircraft and related computer-intensive technologies ordered by players in the transcontinental to conduct yet greater still sizable resource and labor gobbling big giant, living machines. But I digress ... What I'm really getting at is that a partnership was recently entered into by the city of Wichita and the aircraft companies as a committee, whereby a "school of the future" will be setup (and is near or already has reached, completion) that, hopefully, outputs enough qualified/skilled labor to meet the demands of industry here in town. Everyone got together and said, 'look, we gotta do something here -- the labor pool won't sustain our collective requirements' and since the companies are collectively so huge, that loosely translates into 'we need more cats here in town who know what they're doing with airplanes and computers and electronics and interior aircraft design, oh -- and a bunch of cats who know how to paint real good) me.' And up to this point, there has not been enough qualified help to run da bidnesses. Maybe Bill Gates came to Wichita in a secret midnight rendezvous after realizing he had the exact same problem in his industry ... most of which, undenialby, he has had a huge influence on to begin with ... Just some random thoughts ... I really believe we've honestly gotten to the point that specialized education is a necessity, not a wish-list item.

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