Recently, a citizen from Baltimore County posted a chilling video to YouTube about the school district’s 270 million dollar 1:1 technology experiment known as “STAT” (Student and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow.)
The twelve-minute video features footage of Gus Schmedlen, Vice President of Worldwide Education for Hewlett-Packard’s Printer and Personal Systems, describing the “transformative” power of the program, even though his presentation took place only nine weeks after students in the district received their digital devices.
“A very important man from a very important computer company came to our school meeting in November of 2014 just nine weeks after we got our first laptop computers,” a child’s voice narrates at the beginning of the video. “Everybody wanted to hear what he said, so we would know what he was going to do to help us learn more. But instead of telling us how he would help us learn more, he told us how important we are to all of his important customers around the world. It all seemed a little strange to me.”
The video then cuts to Schmedlen explaining the “current and future global significance of the Baltimore County Public Schools and the STAT initiative“ by listing places around the world that the nine-week old STAT program is being held up as the “gold standard” of reform – including at the United Nations General Assembly, Croatia, Oman, and Rwanda.
One parent described what is taking place in Baltimore County Public Schools as a “pretendathon.”
“We are touted as an international success 9 weeks after 1st-3rd graders in 10 pilot schools (which is about 6% of our schools) receive their laptops,” the parent said. “We have school executives, principals and teachers flying all over the place, throughout the year, teaching and sharing their knowledge on our school ‘successes’ with this digital initiative which has yet to be proven. We have Pearson, Hewlett Packard, officials from other countries and states traipsing through our schools (only the updated and shiny ones, though).”
“Our school officials have received multiple awards, praises, and positions, and are celebrated by companies such as Hewlett Packard and Intel. We are celebrating non-successes, are spending hundreds of millions of dollars and yet have schools in the system that are literally falling apart. The fact that there has been so much pretending and so much marketing and so much fanfare for something that’s not actually happening feels like we are truly in the middle of one of the biggest school system shams ever in the history of school system shams.”
Lest you believe this sham is only affecting Baltimore County Public Schools, think again. The latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was written to unleash a multi-billion dollar, “personalized” digital learning industry, and corporate experimentation on children is now ramping up across the country.
Yes – this is actually happening. Watch and share.