Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
"Putting the 'Edge' Back in 'Education.'"
In Wake of Massive Teacher Layoffs, San Diego Unified Hires Tech-Whiz Consultant to Automate Classroom Experience
"Good thing we bought all those classroom computers back when we actually had a budget surplus; they really were the future of education!"
But who will give them their hall pass for trips to the bathroom?
KIDS TODAY SPEND ALL THEIR TIME IN FRONT OF GLOWING SCREENS ANYWAY, SAN DIEGO - As things stand, some 1600 teachers - nearly one out of every five - in San Diego Unified will be laid off at the end of the school year. "Normally," says San Diego Unified School Board President Draconian Machiavelli, "that would just mean packing more and more kids into the classrooms of the remaining teachers - you know, like they do in prison. But after passing measure upon measure to fund improvements to our school buildings and buy computers for kindergarteners, it seemed a shame to let all that space and hardware go to waste."
So, in a controversial move, the Board voted to bring in a high-priced Technical Consultant, Mathew Geewiz. Geewiz is proposing to develop a technically-enhanced "information distribution system," one that will allow teachers to simulcast their presentations over the web to multiple classrooms.
"Conceivably," he explains, "you could have one teacher presenting material to every student in the district who needs to take a given class. Heck, conceivably, you could have an automated program present the material. General Motors came back from the brink by becoming more efficient, eliminating needless human input into their system. Now they're doing great. My goal is to make teachers completely superfluous to the educational process."
Critics have noted that Geewiz's $1 million fee could have paid the yearly salaries of every laid off teacher and then some. But, says, Board President Machiavelli, "we're investing in our children's future here. You can't put a price tag on that."
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