Easing the Digital Divide

technology should be accessable

I do find the topic of easing the digital divide a worthy topic to discuss even though my opponent and incumbent brought the issue first. How do we make technology affordable for low income and lower middle-class families is a good issue to ponder? Do we solve it as a government solution alone or do we solve it with private industry and private charity together with government.

Many individuals can buy the latest technology, but that also does generate e-waste when we discard previous generations of desktops and laptops. However, we should do collaboration efforts with high schools and community colleges to help train students with career skills in helping to assemble and repair computers to help deploy them.

Technology from 2012 and onward can run Windows 10 at a decent level enough for students to have a computer to type reports, browse web pages, do the family budget on a spreadsheet. Those choosing to buy an 8th or 9th generation Intel box for example could donate their 2nd or 3rd generation Intel parts so we can make refurbished computers for families not able to afford a desktop computer to help enter the modern world.

Microsoft does have low cost license programs to help a potential plan for schools and non-profits to work together to license these devices because we are helping low income families and helping to advance education as well.

If we can delay the discarding of e-waste for another 4-6 years that is a win for families and the environment.

There are programs in places such as Riverside, California. However we need to open the door for these opportunities in San Bernardino County and the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County.

Low Expectations In Education Must End

It all began with the elimination of the California High School Exit Examination where former Senator Carol Liu suspended the high school exit examination until the end of this current school year in 2015 in SB 172. How will we know how students are doing and did our students learn during their time as high school students was the big concern of many Californians. The 2018-2019 school year is approaching, and it seems there is no replacement for the CAHSEE for our students that are based on the new Common Core standards that California utilizes.

It is perceived that suspending the exit examination was simply just a way to mask low graduation rates in our schools. We should figure out why our students are not learning, we are spending a big chunk of our state budgets on K-12 education and we should make sure that our students are doing their reading, writing and mathematics up to a reasonable level. One of my policy suggestions is to pilot reading programs in the high schools so we can improve reading skills of our students as an elective or required class depending on one’s skill level. If students can comprehend the material that they are learning they should be successful.

Recently this year the California State University is joining the low expectations parade. The leader of the CSU Timothy White wants to eliminate placement exams and remedial classes to help students get to standards in the university. Placement exams have been used in the Community College system to help students take the right classes for their needs, so they do not take classes that are not too advanced or too basic which helps save students and taxpayers money. Timothy White may feel that waiving the requirements may accelerate graduation of our students where they may not linger in the system longer, but maybe we should give students better class registration if they comply with placement exams and make sure they go through advising each quarter or semester. The action against placement exams seems very irrational. Continue reading Low Expectations In Education Must End