School System

Council Speaker Christine Quinn the Democratic nomination to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg feels that a lot of the problems that the current school system faces can be solved if there is a more appropriate allocation of the funds. She was speaking to educators in an overcrowded meeting recently and apparently hinted at replacing the currently used printed textbooks for digital copies.

The New York City School System currently educates 1.1 million children from grades kindergarten to high school across 1700 schools. Needless to say a system such vast will have some problems of its own. Christine Quinn has been a rather vocal enemy of Mayor Bloomberg while at times also been an avid fan of the incumbent. Her recent statements unlike some of the previous ones don’t suggest increasing taxes though. She mentions that the money is already there in the system and just warrants a better utilization which will ensure that the system is better managed, financially.

Quinn’s grand plan is likely to cost $330 million. She mentions that the $100 million that is annually spent on printed textbooks can be controlled if digital books can be used. Additionally she suggests that the $450 million currently being spent on teachers’ professional development can be better utilized if online and virtual professional development options are explored.

However Quinn had been only discussing these avenues as hypothetical ways in which the city school system can eradicate most of its current problems. She did encourage thoughts and ideas on how other successful school systems around the country are adopting these and other practices. Many believe that the current system wherein the school system recurrently spends a fortune every year replacing old unusable material with new ones is flawed.

But even if these suggestions are taken on a serious note and an attempt in making these see the light of day will require some serious problem solving else they may hinder their actual materialization. One of them being the cost factor; who is going to bear the cost of the digital eReaders? There are other issues as well like the risks of introducing the concept of digital content in classrooms, the quality of the current eReader options etc. All these will need to be discussed and ironed out.

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