Saturday, November 19, 2016

For whom do we make policy?

I want to give a h/t to the student representatives in Worcester, doing their job by requesting a revision in the cell phone policy:
“Most of us are looking for more trust and access to do tasks we wouldn’t be able to do without our devices,” Ms. Miller said. Some students, for example, have expressed disappointment that they can no longer listen to music through headphones outside of class, which they found helped them concentrate and study, she said.
 Others have said they can’t do their schoolwork as efficiently without access to their phones. Ms. Miller gave the example of some classes that lack enough textbooks so students use their phones to take pictures of pages of their classmates’ books. Ms. Miller also argued that students want to be better prepared for college and the workplace, where cellphone use is generally accepted.
 Valenia Bergier, a senior at Burncoat High School and also a student representative on the School Committee, said the new cellphone policy seems counter to school officials’ recent emphasis on expanding technology in the schools. “Yet we’re being denied our most accessible piece of technology: our phones,” she said.

I posted about this earlier in the year, but I'll echo Ms. Bergier again: the district can't afford 1 to 1 technology, yet it is barring the use of (nearly) 1 to 1 technology that currently is in its buildings. The policy consideration never included students--from Ms. Binienda's comments, it's clear it still does not--and it represents a position that again puts our kids at a disadvantage.
That isn't what school policies should do.

No comments: