Friday, September 22, 2006

NACS Technology, what is it?

I have heard that part of the reason behind renovating Carroll High School is to upgrade its technology. What exactly does this include? I have heard a value of $10 million, but never seen an actual dollar value placed on this upgrade. The only source I know is the June 1, 2005 Feasibility Study. A quick search of this study identifies four locations where the word “technology” is used.

  • Page 8, “Internship in Technology
  • Page 13 “The original Carroll Middle School, built in 1987 on 40 acres was converted to the Freshman Campus for the 2004-05 school year. The science labs, music rooms, and industrial technology rooms were renovated, and carpeting was replaced. Rooftop units were replaced, mechanical controls added, and the parking lot was redesigned. This renovation cost $919,514.”
  • Page 15, “a need for improved technology (11 responses)”
  • Page 40, “The committee believes that renovation to the current high school, especially in technology, needs to begin soon and does not require a timeline concurrent with new construction. “

If the actual number proposed is $10 million, what on earth are they buying? You would think that to come up with a $10 million value, they must have had something in mind, what is it? If your child came up to you and asked you for $10,000 what would you do? Would you ask what they wanted it for? What if they could not identify what they wanted it for, would you give it to them? This is no different. Here the School Board has agreed to pay for Technology upgrades yet failed to identify what they are.

Let us put these technology costs in perspective.

$10 million in technology upgrade is equivalent to giving each freshman who enters the High School System over the next ten years $2,100. Will these technology upgrades last ten years? If not then the cost per student increases.

A good used CNC machine costs about $300,000. A good used Robotics system costs about $250,000. What kind of technology could you put in a high school that costs $10 million?

Let us review the purpose of a public high school education. The purpose of public high school is to teach students how to teach themselves and prepare students for further education. It is not to replace college or post high school education.

Before I sign my name to a petiton authorizing the School Board to spend $63.75 million, I want to know what they plan to do with it. If they are basing the values in the feasibility study on something that is not in the study, then there must be references to it and preferably it should be attached as either an appendix or addendum.

In God I Trust, all others show data.

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