AZ schools boss wants a personalized plan for every student

Web-based program would create a way for every student to fine-tune and update personal goals, academic records for college and employment.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

One Laptop Per Student?

The goal of giving a laptop to every child in the world may still be a few years off but Arizona schools may be able to give a a laptop to every student - and fund other technology-based programs as well, if Tom Horne, the state's superintendent of public instruction, has his way, reports the Arizona Star.

In his State of Education speech recently, Horne has asked the state legislature to approve and fund $2.5 million in educational programs, including an innovative technology program.

A Web-based program would personalize and streamline updating students' personal goals for school, academic and employment résumés, educational history, assessment results and career aspirations and options and include links to financial aid and college.

"Many kids go through their entire high school (careers) without talking to a counselor. They don't necessarily have the concept that what they're doing in school has any value on their future. It gets them thinking about (their future) and sitting down with adults and talking about it," explained Rep. Mark Anderson, chairman of the House K-12 Education Committee.

John Wright, president of the Arizona Education Association, a statewide teachers union, said a personalized plan has been the subject of discussion with teachers and staff since December.

"There needs to be a serious conversation about resources if we do this," Wright said. "The responsibility to develop a fair and comprehensive personalized plan for each student is extraordinary and a project of this size shouldn't be rushed without insufficient funds. To do this halfway is to risk student achievement by giving false hope if this plan is supposed to be helpful," he said.
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