[LINK] Rudd's laptops send standards backwards

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Mon Jul 20 14:46:30 AEST 2009

An interesting perspective:  
>           Peter Martin
> July 20, 2009
> THE centrepiece of the Federal Government's so-called education 
> revolution may be worse than useless, a visiting American researcher says.
> Before the 2007 election Kevin Rudd vowed to spend $2.3 billion 
> rewarding parents who installed or bought home computers.
> He later said his decisions would be evidence based.
> Jacob Vigdor, of Duke University, North Carolina, has conducted what 
> is probably the world's biggest study on the effect on maths and 
> reading scores of gaining a home computer. He finds "statistically 
> significant" evidence that it sends them backwards.
> "Children in homes with computers tend to do better than those in 
> homes without - there's no doubt about that," Professor Vigdor told 
> the /Herald/.
> "But there could be other reasons. Those homes also have a lot of 
> other things other homes don't have, and often have more educated 
> parents."
> He examined the performance of students before and after their home 
> gained a computer. This meant examining students from less well-off 
> homes. The better-off ones already had computers.
> But Professor Vigdor told a seminar at Australian National University 
> he did not think this was an important limitation.
> Professor Vigdor found that acquiring a computer at home made 
> end-of-year results for year 3 to year 8 students in North Carolina 
> "significantly worse" in reading and maths. These results were spread 
> over five years.
> "The bad effects fade somewhat over time, but even after five years 
> they are still negative. I am not saying go out and burn all the 
> computers...

David Boxall                    |  I have seen the past
                                |  And it worked.
http://david.boxall.name        |               --TJ Hooker

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