Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The low-down on MPS Internet access

The vitriol spewed when the Milwaukee Public Schools (my employer) proposed providing free broadband access to students was amazing, not to mention overtly racist in some instances.

The federal No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's education overhaul, says that students -- yes, even impoverished ones -- should be able to use technology. In fact, NCLB places quite an emphasis on technology in education.

You can read about it here unless you are an MPS student without money, in which case, according to some, you really have no right to read about it here.

Maybe, though, the 'no access for poor people' folks are right -- that damned George Bush and his liberal NCLB. Doesn't he know that only people who can afford to be ripped off by Internet service providers should be allowed to have broadband?

To hell with you, kids, you're mostly poor, you're mostly minority, and you're mostly urban, so we know just what you'll be doing with that free Internet access (snicker). You'll be just like that Homeland Security guy who was trying to seduce a juvenile over the Internet.

Oh. Wait. He was white and middle class.

Well, how about that former top Boy Scouts of America guy busted for child porn?

Oh, wait. Another middle-class white guy.

Or that Cedarburg teacher canned for looking at porn at school?

Oops -- another white guy, presumably middle-class.

The solution to this problem is obvious: No Internet access for middle-class white guys!

For folks interested in what MPS is actually trying to do with its bandwidth, the Superintendent's Overview of the FY07 Budget, released last week, sums it up pretty well (and, yes, the district is pursuing different ways to get computers to kids, including a deal with Dell under which students learn to fix computers, then get to keep them).

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