Some residents have raised questions about the legality of the proposed Neary 1:1 iPad Pilot.
In anonymous comments on this blog, parents shared the news that the Department of Education was investigating a complaint about the pilot. The Metrowest Daily News looked into the DOE’s findings.
According to comments, the crux of the issue is that students who opt in will receive homework assignments for the ipad, while students who opt out will receive alternate assignments. The commenter wrote that the DOE “believed the program to be illegal” based on the materials sent to parents on October 25th.
The Metrowest Daily News spoke to the DOE and school officials. While they confirmed the matter is under investigation, a final ruling has not yet been made:
Prefacing his remarks by restricting them to a general situation, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Deputy Commissioner Jeff Wulfson said a program in which some students were doing homework on iPads and others weren’t wouldn’t likely be legal.
“On the surface, that doesn’t really sound like reasonable access to equal opportunity,” Wulfson said.
Wulfson confirmed that his office is looking into some concerns regarding the legality of Southborough’s proposal after receiving complaints from parents. He said the department is still gathering facts and hasn’t reached any conclusions.
The DOE indicated that it would need to wait for the school to finalize their official plan before making its decision. Superintendent Dr. Charles Gobron explained to MWDN and the DOE that the October 25th plan was just a draft.
As previously reported, part of that final plan hinges on the results of the survey released to parents on Monday. Parents are asked to make their comments by 8pm this Thursday, November 7th. The school needs this information to determine how many parents plan to opt in or out. If too many oppose the pilot, the school will have to reassess the program.
Before finalizing a plan for a 1:1 pilot, the school would check in with the DOE. MWDN quotes Gobron:
“We agreed that before we implement anything, I will send everything them to be vetted,” he said. “We can’t do anything illegal because we haven’t implemented anything yet.”
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