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MASA Leader Winter 2013

MASA Feature I have the opportunity to speak to lots of teach them what their kids will learn? In terms principals, superintendents, school board “This is an invitation across the of CIPA and eRate, can you give me the members, and parents. Whenever I bring nation, the chance for folks to meet name of just one school that lost their up this subject, they all start blaming There’ll be swinging, swaying, music funding for violating CIPA? How much each other. The superintendent says, playing, and dancing in the street” did they lose? Can you show me where it “The school board will never let me.” ~ Martha & The Vandellas says YouTube® violates CIPA? Finally, in The school board member says, “The terms of students developing the skills on parents wouldn’t let us.” The parents say, their own at home, are you sure that’s what’s “the school is too rigid and would never happening? How do you know?” allow it.” One of my favorite arguments in their own home. They were born digital I hear all the time is that the kids are citizens so there is no need to teach them. Yes, The assumption that kids are learning picking up the skills at home. The general I know a lot of them already have access to the these skills at home is insane. Most argument goes something like this: Web in their pockets but they aren’t doing it college educated folks lack basic search on school property so we aren’t accountable.” skills. Even if it were true, not all our “Listen, the parents here are very traditional. kids would be learning these critical They don’t want their students surfing the Web. I push back: skills. If the kid comes from a family that What if they end up complaining to the board? “Have you talked to the parents? Have you makes more than $75,000 a year, they Also, the feds would take away our eRate funding showed them the benefits of the Web? Are you have a 90 percent chance of having if we unblocked YouTube® and we can’t lose that.” demonstrating how your school is developing computer and Internet access at home. (I even had one senior administrator of a large student skills as you prepare them for their If they come from a family that makes district tell me that they would lose ALL federal future? Have you showed them how the Web less than $30,000 a year, then they have funding, including Title 9!) They say, “The kids opens up new opportunities to learn? Have less than a 50 percent chance to have are developing these digital skills on their own, you offered them ‘parent Internet classes’ to this access at home. continued on page 14 www.gomasa.org 13


MASA Leader Winter 2013
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