Monday, 16 December 2013

The Spectre of Christmas Future?

Charters Get Kids Cubicle-Ready
A Rocketship charter: Is it a school or a miniature call center? 
While experimenting on working-class kids, Silicon Valley elites send their kids to private schools like Waldorf Peninsula, whose philosophy is to avoid computers, arguing that they hurt children's development.
From Labor Notes an interesting article from the home of Charter Schools:
From Silicon Valley, the Rocketship chain of charter schools is hoping to expand across the country. It’s backed by some of the biggest names in the tech world and claims high test scores. 
Rocketship leaders brag that they think outside the box. Teachers, for instance—who needs them? The company says it saves half a million dollars a year by using fewer teachers, replacing them with non-certified instructors at $15 per hour. 
These instructors monitor up to 130 kids at a time in cubicles in the schools’ computer labs. Rocketeers, as students are called, sit looking at computer screens up to two hours per day, supposedly learning by solving puzzles. 
Business leaders such as Bill Gates often stress the need to train kids for the jobs of the future—digital animators, nanotech engineers? But it looks more like the Rocketeers are being prepared for online “microtasks” at Crowdflower, which contracts out data categorization and de-duplication. 
According to a recent wage and hour lawsuit, these microtaskers are often paid as little as $2 an hour.
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