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14 February 2005: A Great Idea and About Time (3 of 3)

If you’re in the market for a charity, you simply log on, browse the teacher proposals, then click on the one you want to finance. Donors can fund all or part of any project, and when the donation makes its way to the teacher, along with it comes a disposable camera. Upon completing the purchase/project/fieldtrip, the beneficiaries then send photos and thank you notes to the benefactor.

What could be more satisfying than seeing twenty of Oakland’s third graders working with the abaci that you purchased for them?

Of course, what would a good idea for public schools be without institutional opposition? Alter reports that school districts are not crazy about this system. Though it is designed specifically to remedy the disproportionate distribution of public school funds in favor of the wealthy, there seems to be some distaste for it's effectiveness. Concerns about favoring internet-savvy teachers, fostering jealousy between teachers, or a lack of bureaucratic control seem to be the largest complaints.

Don't those concerns pale in comparison to third graders who can't add?

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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