Machines Don't Make Schools, People Do

Michael Schrage is correct in his analysis of the rush to get schools hooked up to the Internet ("The Networks of Educational Hell Are Wired With Good Intentions," Oct. 8). Not only is the Internet somewhat irrelevant to quality of education, it sidetracks the attention and funding from where the real problems are.

When I was in high school, one teacher was being complained to by students about the quality and lack of equipment the school had. Her reply was to the effect that we don't need any of that stuff and that all we need for a good school is good teachers and good students. The rest is nice to have, but won't make much difference unless you have good teachers and good students.

I didn't really appreciate the comment at the time, but over the years it has become obvious. Education takes place between human beings. Books are very helpful. So are desks, classrooms, chalkboards, paper, pencils and countless other items. But they don't make any difference if the teachers aren't good, motivated teachers and the students aren't good, motivated students.

Also over the years, it has become obvious that those in charge of education do not understand this simple fact. Until they do, we will continue to throw good money after bad, without much improvement in education.


Santa Monica

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