More on Maine iBooks

Yet another mostly fuzzy warm story about how Maine giving iBooks to 7th graders makes them better students. Only a few parts of the article divurge from anecdotes to look at results. The short-term results look good, but tens of millions of dollars good?This is my fundamental problem, stated many times, about the Maine program. They spend tens of millions on this program without concrete goals and targets, or ways to measure results. I don't suggest that standardized testing outcomes are the sole method of determining results, but they didn't provide any way of looking at this. Instead of spending $37 million on iBooks, what if they had spent $37M on new teachers, textbooks, field trips, and the arts and sciences? I don't know what $37M would have bought, but I do know that they should be performing a cost comparison on the outcomes. This program is not per se a bad idea. Rather, the notion that you would spend this money and even want to expand it without any substantive idea of whether it's achieving its advantage in cost is ridiculous.