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.

Owen

>
>   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.
>