Saturday, September 03, 2011

Stupid Schools Waste Your Tax Money On iPads

Public "education" gets dumber by the day.  The latest fad to catch the attention of school administrators is the iPad.  Some school administrators think buying iPads is a better investment than textbooks.  They failed to do the math.  A textbook costing $50 to $70 will last years; my textbooks did all through my K-12 years.  A $500 iPad is designed to become obsolete in a year or less; its apps require constant upgrades; and its battery has a limited life.  Apple's battery replacement service requires the entire iPad to be replaced, so schools will have to spend extra money backing up all of their iPads' data before shipping them in.  The $100 or more spent on an upgraded but blank iPad could have bought a couple of textbooks. 

Oh, BTW, schools in low-income neighborhoods just made their students targets for theft by forcing them to carry a $500 brand-name device home to complete their homework.  When Johnny gets jumped and robbed by some punks on his way home, he will be out one very expensive iPad (and the school will probably bill his parents!) and have no way to study for tomorrow's algebra test.  In even the most violent schools today, punks don't steal ordinary textbooks because they don't have a street value outside the school. Way to go, school administrators.  You've just increased the chance that your students will suffer bodily harm.

Most hardbound textbooks - math texts, English lit, etc. - don't change much from year to year and don't need "upgrades" like electronic material.  Spending foolishly on faddish toys is now a hallmark of school administrators who are at a loss when faced with educating Ritalin-addled children raised by video games.  How many city school districts will face budget shortfalls because of wasteful spending?  The muni bond investor's loss is the AAPL shareholder's gain. 

Apple has long had a dominant position in the education market, so introducing the iPad to its captive audience didn't require much penetration.  This is why Apple is so profitable.  It can count on the stupidity of the education establishment.  Smart move.

Full disclosure:  No position in AAPL at this time.