Mississipi Leads the way

Owen Byrne owen@permafrost.net
Fri, 03 Jan 2003 11:05:57 -0400

Frankly I think this will just ensure that Mississipi will never do well 
in any educational category. Instantly obsolete PCs in every classroom. 
And likely zero budget
for software, training, support, etc.


>   Mississippi puts computer in every classroom
> *HERNANDO, Mississippi (AP) --**In a milestone for student achievement 
> and state pride, Mississippi has become the first state to have an 
> online computer in each of its public-school classrooms, a spokesman 
> for the governor said.*
> The state met the goal set by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to connect 
> Mississippi's 32,354 public classrooms to the Internet by December 31, 
> 2002, spokesman John Sewell said Wednesday.
> The accomplishment has added importance in a state that has often 
> found itself near the low end of educational and economic rankings.
> "I've never known Mississippi to lead the nation in any educational 
> category or technological category," said Tom Pittman, publisher of 
> The DeSoto Times in northern Mississippi. "It puts us at the forefront 
> of something that is significant and important."
> The idea to hook up all the state's public classrooms to the Internet 
> began in 1999 as a challenge offered up by Pittman's brother, 
> then-America Online chief executive Bob Pittman, at a meeting of the 
> Mississippi Economic Council. Musgrove, a candidate for governor at 
> the time, made the challenge part of his campaign.
> The job required $40 million worth of equipment and training, but 
> federal funding, private donations and programs that trained students 
> to build computers meant the project cost the state just $6 million, 
> according to Musgrove's office. Donations included $500,000 from 
> Mississippi native and former Netscape chief executive Jim Barksdale.
> Besides Mississippi, the state closest to filling classrooms with 
> online computers is Delaware, according to the National Governors 
> Association in Washington.
> Now that the computers are in place, the schools will have to train 
> teachers to use them and pay for maintenance, upgrades and 
> connections, Sewell said. Some of the costs can be eased with federal 
> education programs and by training students to fix computers, he added.