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Moving from Laptops to iPods

The New Mexico State Legislature appropriations never ceases to amaze me. When it comes to education, we have some of the worse worst performing schools in the nation. Yet, rather than getting back to basics, they throw tacpayer taxpayer funds at one bad idea after another. It wasn’t that long ago that they gave every 7th grader at Tohatchi middle school a laptop computer. Now, they’re giving iPods to the kids (subscription):

Cutting-edge technology sets Southwest Secondary Learning Center apart and keeps the charter school’s waiting list long, principal Dolly Juarez said.

Still, $40,000 for iPods that the school got from the state Legislature may be too extravagant for Albuquerque Public Schools, and officials said they may reject it.

“We can always say ‘no,’ ” said Kizito Wijenje, APS capital master plan director. “Last year, we got money for SUVs, and we said ‘no.’ “

The school wants the iPods, which cost between $250 and $350 each, so students who don’t have high-speed Internet connections at home can download lectures whenever or wherever they want, Juarez said.

Yeah, I’m sure the kids are going to use the iPods for downloading lectures. Just like those laptops helped Tohatchi Middle School start making “adequate yearly progress.” Oops, wait that didn’t happen.

Then again, maybe this brilliant iPod idea also has Governor Richardson’s blessing. I’m thinking this is a presidential campaign platform with legs – an iPod for every American.