The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services says that 20% of our children and adolescents will experience some type of mental health problem, and yet a March 28, 2022 Education Week Special Report revealed that…
- More than 5.4 million U.S. public school students (12%) attend a school without even one psychologist;
- Almost 500,000 (1%) of students attend districts without even one school counselor.
Plus, says the National Association of School Psychologists, just 8% of districts meet the recommended ratio of one psychologist per 500 students, while only 14% have one-counselor for every 250 students as recommended by the American School Counselor Association.
We Americans fork over between $26 billion and $41 billion every year to fund public K-12 education technology. For instance, in the 2020-21 school year, that figure hit $35.8 billion.
Money, money, money, and yet…
When a December 2022 EdWeek Research Center survey asked teachers, “What is the worst or most misguided use of education technology…
- 23% said relying on ed tech or virtual learning to replace teachers and traditional instruction.
- 17% said giving students tech devices and or using them ineffectively in class.
- 12% said providing or allowing students to access inaccurate or inappropriate content, including games or misinformation.
- 9% said using tech as a babysitter.
- Just 9% said that having one computer for each student has been a game changer for focusing on students’ individual strengths, weaknesses, and personal interests.
- Just 2% completely agree that their district’s tech investment has paid off in improved student outcomes.
And those opinions are borne out by results on the spring 2022 National Association of Educational Progress, aka the nation’s report card, which “showed the biggest drop in math performance among tested 4th and 8th graders since testing began in 1990.
In reading, while those same students fared on par with those in the 1990s, about one-third of them “can’t read at even the ‘basic’ achievement level—the lowest on the test.”
Nevertheless, more tech is on its way to our schools, this time in the form of AI (Artificial Intelligence) purchased for safety’s sake. With specially designed software, cameras, and electronic sensors, its mission is to keep teachers, staff, and kids safe from harm.
Sounds good, BUT…
Take the Utica City School District, for instance. It spent $37 million for one such system and quickly regretted it. Not only did it fail to detect a knife used in an in-school student-on-student attack, but it also missed “seeing” a gun that was brought in.
Money in; money out on ed tech. You on board?
~ With thanks and happy spring wishes, Carol