The FSD Laptop Program: Breaking it Down


“To be effective in the 21st century, the Fullerton School District believes that students must be able to develop innovative products and processes using technology, construct knowledge and demonstrate creative thinking.”

Mitch Hovey, Ed.D.

Our previous posts on FSDs Laptop Program have generated a wide array of commentary, some of which has been a bit off the mark relative to the specific posts. So we thought a general recap of problematic issues might be timely at this juncture.

  • Parents were being coerced into participating in the program
  • The laptops are way too expensive
  • Laptops are being lost and or stolen
  • FSD claimed the laptops were secure
  • The value of laptops in education is overrated

If anybody wishes to add items or to dispute them – fire away!

18 Replies to “The FSD Laptop Program: Breaking it Down”

  1. There was a time when all young students learned arithmetic “facts” (i.e. learned to count by ones, fives and tens; do addition and subtraction in thier heads, memorized the multiplication-times tables through 12s, etc.).

    Then hand held electronic calculators became “mandatory” for school kids, and the word “arithmetic” disappeared – was replaced by “Math.” Everyone “did Math” with a calculator.

    Does anyone reading this know an individual under the age of ___? (I can’t count that high) who can add a column of figures, with or without a calculator or a computer or a group project?

    Computers “teach” nothing to kids (up through high school), other than to plagerize without even reading the “cut and pasted” text.

    If the student is taught by someone who is a member of a Union, all they “learn” is Leftist propaganda.

    This situation is as criminal as what the whales did to cause Global Warming. ; – )

  2. I find it fascinating that some posters here tend to blame the child for having a will to do that which they normally wouldn’t.
    Let’s think about this for a moment:

    1. The School District Promised a laptop that was “safe and secure” never in any of the reports did they limit this to just the school site…..

    2. An 11 year old female has been thrown threw the fire here and some are blaming her.

    In an age where students are “Sexting” that means flirting or sending inappropriate images of themselves and friends in Jr. High and High School we blame this girl for reaching out to find this garbage.

    Ladies and Gentleman take the “halo” that is choking you off for a moment. YOU CANNOT control what is received in your inbox either on your phone or your laptop.

    Some of you are assuming that her classmates did not forward her images etc. Some are wanting to blame the parents here: Classic, I challenge each parent represented here to KNOW exactly AT ALL times what their child is doing on the computer…….IT’s NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

    I am willing to bet half of you don’t even know what your SPOUSE is doing on your computer when your not looking.

    Trust is an amazing thing. The School District IMPLIED their trust and forced parents into this program.

    Hey Mitch…..I’m talking to you right now Mitch, forgive my lack of addressing you as Superintendent you see you work for me so I figure we can be cordial here. Mitch stand up and be a man take some accountability here for your actions and terminate this horrific program instead of hiding behind an 11 year old girl……..

    Or are you not man enough to handle your own business Mitch.

  3. I honestly don’t know much about the program, but I am a teacher and I do know my own experience with computers both for home use and school use. The bottom line is that computers are extremely unreliable and expecting a parent to purchase a computer and become responsible for it as a requirement for school is highly unrealistic. Our schools and private citizens are having enough trouble maintaining and updating their equipment but when you place this responsibility in the hands of parents, especially parents who are not computer literate or financially stable, you are truly asking for trouble. This is a problem with computers in general and until someone finds a solution to our electronic and network problems (which are so vast and varied) this type of system is doomed to failure.

  4. “To be effective in the 21st century, the Fullerton School District believes that students must be able to develop innovative products and processes using technology, construct knowledge and demonstrate creative thinking.” Mitch Hovey, Ed.D.

    I don’t have any problems with students learning how to use technology, especially since they’re the ones who’ll be innovating new technologies for the future.

    BUT, I do think that schools like Beechwood –which hasn’t adopted the laptops program, are doing just fine. Those kids are running circles around most parents in regards to almost every application.

    I think if the district wanted to address the issue of using technology, then it could have made available additional computer lab time after school M- Th in the schools of Fullerton where families might not have a computer and internet hook up at home. As it is, many of those kids are using the library computers –and there’s usually a line up for those.

    So, couldn’t the district have funded a program like this for far less money, and in the process involve more kids, rev up a solid after school program, that eventually could turn into a more significant program? In many areas, Computer clubs at schools have turned out to be very innovative and intensive.

    1. Anonymous, thank you for proposing a reasonable alternative to the laptop disaster. Maybe you should run for school board?

  5. To Fullerton Unified District parent lynch mob:

    Well, either you’re closing your eyes
    To a situation you don’t now wish to acknowledge
    Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
    By the presence of Laptops in your community.

    Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
    I say, trouble right here in Fullerton City.
    Why sure I’m a blogger,
    Certainly mighty proud I say
    I’m always mighty proud to say it.
    I consider that the hours I spend
    With keystrokes on my hand are golden.
    Help you cultivate horse sense
    And a cool head and a keen eye.
    Never take and try to give
    An iron-clad leave to yourself
    From a Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog spot?
    But just as I say,
    It takes judgment, brains, and maturity to score
    In the bloggin’ game,
    I say that any boob kin take
    And shove a blog on their laptop.
    And they call that sloth.
    The first big step on the road
    To the depths of deg-ra-Day–
    I say, first, chat rooms for Fullerton kids,
    Then hard-core Craigslist from all over OC.
    An’ the next thing ya know,
    Your son or daughter’s is playin’ for money
    In a slutted-out g-string.
    And listenin’ to some big out-a-town hustler
    Hearin’ him tell about canine-based who-ha.
    Not a wholesome trottin’ who-ha, neither, no!
    But a one where they set down right on the horse!
    Like to see some stuck-up home ‘boy
    Sittin’ on your home porch? Make your blood boil?
    Well, I should say.
    Friends, lemme tell you what I mean.
    Ya got one, two, three, four, five, six gurlz and boys online.
    Laptops that mark the diff’rence
    Between a good boy or gurl and a bum,
    With a capital “B,”
    And that rhymes with “L” and that stands for Laptop!
    And all week long your Fullerton City
    Youth’ll be frittern away,
    I say your young boyz and gurlz be frittern!
    Frittern away their noontime, suppertime, choretime too!
    Get the s*x on the Laptop,
    Never mind gittin’ homework done
    Or the soccer played or homework completed.
    Never mind goin’ to school anymore
    ‘Til you parents caught your kids with real truancy
    On a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
    and that’s trouble,
    Oh, yes we got lots and lots a’ trouble.
    I’m thinkin’ of the kids at Golden Hill Elementary School,
    Shirt-tail young ones, peekin’ onto the Laptop
    Windows-based porn after school, look, folks!
    Right here in Fullerton City.
    Trouble with a capital “F”
    And that rhymes with “L” and that stands for Laptop!
    Now, I know all you folks are the right kinda parents.
    I’m gonna be perfectly frank.
    Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
    On while they’re surfin’ the internet?
    They’re tryin’ out Bevo, tryin’ out cubebs,
    Tryin’ out career trainin’ like Blog master supreme!
    And braggin’ all about
    How they’re gonna cover up their e-mails with Hide-a-Blog.
    One fine night, they log onto the laptop,
    Headin’ for the LGBTQ website!
    Libertine men and Scarlet women!
    And Rag-time, shameless music
    That’ll grab your son and your daughter
    With the arms of a jungle animal instink!
    Friends, the idle brain is the devil’s playground!

    Trouble, oh we got trouble,
    Right here in Fullerton City!
    With a capital “T”
    That rhymes with “L”
    And that stands for Laptop,
    That stands for Laptop.
    We’ve surely got trouble!
    Right here in Fullerton City,
    Right here!
    Gotta figger out a way
    To keep the young ones moral after school!
    Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…

    Mothers of River City!
    Heed the warning before it’s too late!
    Watch for the tell-tale sign of corruption!
    The moment your son or daughter leaves the house,
    Does he or she sign off his Laptop with a secret screen name?
    Is there Carpal tunnel syndrome on his or her index finger?
    Are neo-liberal notions hidden in his Facebook?
    Is he starting to memorize jokes from Wikipedia’s
    Whiz Bang?
    Are certain words creeping into his conversation?
    Words like ‘Obama?”
    And “so’s your Single Payer Healthcare”
    Well, if so my friends,
    Ya got trouble,
    Right here in Fullerton city!
    With a capital “T”
    And that rhymes with “L”
    And that stands for Laptop.
    We’ve surely got trouble!
    Right here in Fullerton City!
    Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock and the Golden Rule!
    Oh, we’ve got trouble.
    We’re in terrible, terrible trouble.
    That computer with the two hundred fifty million portals is a devil’s tool!
    Oh yes we got trouble, trouble, trouble!
    With a “T”! Gotta rhyme it with “L”!
    And that stands for Laptop!!!

  6. I think the major component that is being marginalized here Harpoon is the fact that the District launched this campaign with the intention of either forcing parents to pay, or forcing them to subject themselves to an arbitrary judgment of financial need created and administered by the District itself. This is why the plaintiffs in the lawsuit substantively prevailed and prevented the district from demanding payment. This program was born of a plan to extort parents by Cameron McCune. Quite simply, they violated the California Constitution. At this point it is difficult to quantify the degree to which security is lax and performance is poor. However, I lean toward believing that this is the beginning of finally illuminating the true performance of this program. If…this board chooses transparency. I’m going to call upon Minard Duncan to join Beverly Berryman in demanding openness. I believe Minard’s heart to be in the right place and we shall see if he finally stands firm for what is right. Allow an unbiased task force of community members to RANDOMLY call upon teachers, staff, parents and students to evaluate this program from the standpoint of determining whether it is viable. Not another handpicked group of parents and teachers which the district know will say the right thing.

    1. Chris, I like the idea of an independent assessment of the whole thing – soup to nuts. The District will never go for that kind of outside intrusion. The best you’ll get is an interal whitewash or a group hand-picked for their reliability to back of the District.

      Another question I would ask is what (if any) were the objective goals and success criteria put in place when this program was adopted. If there weren’t any, then it’s high time to adopt some. Without any way of judging success (or failure) of a program it can just lumber along forever with the support of politicians and bureuacrats who want it to (think DARE).

      1. You’re right. I retract the recommendation. The district is very good at handpicking their favorites for their unbiased committees. Not to speak of the absurd way in which they hire consultants to act as mouthpieces for their goals. Although, I have no experience with the current Super on this.

  7. I would like to apologize to Travis. After reading the article yesterday on the front page of the OC Register, I was compelled by the parent that had the problems with her child. We don’t need to add more distractions to our children. It is so easy to type the words “sex or porn” and have our children look at the filth. Our children have enough to deal with when it comes to making choices. We don’t need any more “Mike Duvall’s” in our life. We need to raise our children with good morals and values.

    The way the economy is currently, we don’t need to add more financial strains to the parents that have lost their jobs.

    This does NOT excuse the parents for a “Free Pass” they need to monitor their children and have communication to let them know that there are going to have to make choices in life, and know the difference between good and bad.

  8. The impression that’s left on a 4rd graders mind created by an image seen on the internet of a seductive woman (porn star) is not the kind of impression we want our public schools to have the ability to leave on our children. Books don’t have pop ups, remember regardless of how much oversight we have with our children, most kids have curious minds, much more than most adults.

  9. Fundamentally, the challenge for a school, for a teacher, for a student, in the endeavor which we call learning, is to concentrate or focus the mind on specific (new) information in a way that brings the knowledge into the student’s ability to use it in his life.

    The hard part is focus and concentration, especially when (perhaps) the preparatory knowledge is not as firmly established or understood as it might need to be.

    A computer – like a free range chicken – is easily distracted with “pop ups” or EASY links, etc. which almost cannot help but be more “attractive” than the (difficult) assigned lesson at hand.

    Especially, for elementary and middle school students, (and high school and all the way through life), the difficult jobs, like learning our school work, are NOT made “easier” with distractions.

    Games and prizes are not appropriate rewards, for learning.

    The reward for Learning, is to become more of a good and valuable person, in the family and community. School is about growth and strength of mind and spirit, not a bunch of flashy tricks and gadgets.

    Any proper and excellent tool or technique which actually advances the objective of learning is to be obtained or encouraged (and regularly evaluated), but distractions and time wasting activities are the enemy of scholarship.

    Our schools and our teachers should be superb. I am disappointed when major initiatives are ill thought out or poorly managed.

  10. I think we need to abolish this program so that the kids will not be allowed to view this vile blogsite and others of a similar nature. We don’t need our children being brainwashed by the wacky of Fullerton, by being able to have access to a website that is based solely around propaganda!

    1. We expose prevaricating, incompetent, arrogant, and self serving government bureaucracies. And we’re vile?

      #15, get your head examined – but not by the School District psychiatrist – that may be what went wrong in the first place!

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