When middle schools administrators set their budgets for the year, technology often loses out to reading and math. The Stamford (CT) Advocate reports that the Stamford Board of Education got an earful of complaints recently when middle school teachers protested cuts in applied sciences, including computing.
"I implore you, please reconsider this," said Marjorie Pucciarelli, a middle school teacher of life skills, an applied sciences category that includes foods, child development and consumer education.
Another middle school technology teacher, Betsy Nagurney, said students benefit from computer courses by learning how to find information on the Internet and use software to illustrate the conclusions they draw from lessons.
"These are all basic 21st-century skills," she said.
Winifred Hamilton, assistant superintendent for secondary education, rebutted the protest by saying that teachers are compensated by integrating technology into other subjects.
"Technology has not been eliminated. It will continue to be embedded" in various classes, Hamilton said. "It's an aggressive stance, but it's also our charge and our responsibility" to provide extra math and reading time and meet the district's mission of preparing all students for higher education, she said.
Ultimately, principals make the final decision on how to integrate applied sciences into the larger curriculum.