Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mayoral Takeover and $150 Laptops

Two quick ones of note today.

The first: Adrian Fenty, Mayor Elect of Washington, DC, is heading down to Miami (lucky) to meet with Miami-Dade County school Superintendent Rudolph F. Crew. Fenty is very publicly doing his homework to help build a case that he is a studied student of mayoral takeover or whatever hybrid he and the school board decide upon. Not be outdone in a show of studiousness DC Schools Chairman Vincent C. Gray will also visit Miami Dade, albeit separately. Next week Fenty will meet with Joel Klein, Chancellor, in New York City. Leaders are getting their ducks are in a row for some changes in DC.

The second: The New York Times published a piece on $150 laptops for the students of developing nations. Apparently, and with good cause, this initiative has stirred debate. Even Bill Gates weighed in suggesting laptops might not square culturally or pragmatically with a developing nation's educational needs. The key here is access to the internet. Information is fast becoming a necessity the world over, not a luxury. These laptops would be equipped with connectivity. The problem the Times fails to play up is the associated costs with getting telecom, satellite, and wireless network infrastructures up and operating to scale with the millions of new users who would come online when the laptops are distributed. Still waiting on our own Wi-Fi clouds to bring information equity to our own citizens.


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