Town Square

Google donates $1 million to local schools

Original post made on Jun 14, 2012

Even as California's primary and secondary schools are facing a best-case scenario of no funding increase next year, and a worst-case possibility of $2.4 billion in spending reductions, officials with the Mountain View Whisman School District found cause for celebration Thursday, June 14, as Google announced it would once again give $1 million to local elementary and middle schools.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 14, 2012, 10:42 AM


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Posted by Arman Stiss
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I've got some issues with Google, but not here. This is top notch stuff, Google, and the community appreciates it.
Thank You!

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Posted by Divergent
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm

This is disappointing. I wonder what Heather Spain observed during the tour that "blew her away." EDI prevents teachers from allowing students to be creative, innovative, and divergent thinkers. The DataWorks folks will be the first to tell you that they're interested in efficiency, not student inquiry or creative problem solving. I am surprised that Google chose to support this, unless Google is now looking forward to hire employees who lack the experiences to think on their own. The Google founders had a much different educational experience (Montessori), in which they were encouraged to be "self motivated and question the rules and do things a little bit different" (barbara walter's interview). EDI does not allow for that type of learning experience - the teacher tells the student what to think and how to think. The student does not have the opportunity to question the method being taught and cannot propose something different. I guess Google will look elsewhere for the innovative and creative thinkers, and look to Mountain View for drones.

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Posted by Heeeer we go
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Oh yes, the great debate over which teaching method works and which doesn't.
Generally the supporters of a method will sing its praise, and those who do not support it will paint it as certain doom for the students. In the 70's I recall a lot of criticism about Montessori method. They said children would lack fundamentals needed to succeed.
There is no one great method. There are no reasonable methods that will spell doom for students. Through 40 years of bickering about school teaching methods, the kids have been doing fine in most area schools regardless, as long as the core is in place. The $ will help regardless so thanks to Google

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Posted by @ Divergent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I am afraid you don't know all there is to know about EDI. You may be taking one part of what DataWorks talks about and assuming too much.

The teachers can use EDI for certain instruction, but allow children to use creativity in other areas. For instance EDI works really great with math. Language Arts is an area that really lends itself to creativity. In addition, the teacher can use EDI to teach several ways to solve the same math problem.

EDI is just a tool to try to help the teacher keep the students attention - telling the students what the teacher expects them to learn before she/he starts teaching; calling on students at random so they all stay more engaged; using a white board to ensure all students have correct answers so that the teacher can break students into groups and re-teach only those students who need it.

EDI does not dictate what the teacher will teach.

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Posted by harvardmom
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm

As I write this from my drone cubicle in one of Silicon Valley's many high-tech companies, I am delighted that Google's million is going into education, especially when there's always a seemingly more important need for so many other services and causes. I love that the money is targeted to education and will impact the entire district. Students learn in a variety of ways, and this method is going to work well in some, perhaps many, maybe even most, cases. Google, thank you for continuing to make Mountain View the thriving, wonderful place it is! Thank you, thank you, thank're the best!

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Posted by Anthony
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm

It's great that Google is providing funding, but it's unfortunate that MVWSD chooses to spend it on EDI. Divergent's criticisms of EDI are accurate.

Every 4 or 5 years the MVWSD invests in a new program/approach. Each time it spends money and time training teachers, purchasing supplies, etc. The main beneficiaries seem to be the companies that sell the programs.

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Posted by Bubb Mom
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Dear Google,

Thank you very much, it is very generous and kind of you to support our kids in whatever way you like. I remember when your group came out for field day, we had great fun.

Bubb Mom

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Posted by Dave
a resident of Gemello
on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I agree with Divergent. This is money squandered on rote response and mimicking techniques designed to "get test scores up". What a joke. It's just another flavor of the month.

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Posted by @@Divergent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm

"EDI does not dictate what the teacher will teach."

No, the district office does. And holds teachers' feet to the fire to use EDI. The best and the brightest students (and teachers) lose out in the end.

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Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2012 at 11:17 am

Regardless of whatever teaching method is best, by Google requiring the money to be used for EDI, the students are guinea pigs in Google's grand experiment and the administrators ashamed for accepting the grant with these conditions. Will anyone ever stand up to Google and say no? They're like a spoiled child sometimes.

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Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

If EDI brings basic and below basic up a notch or two then I think it's great. Proficient and advanced students get differentiated instruction for their level already. I look forward to seeing what effect EDI has when the results are published. I kind of doubt they will keep it if it's ineffective. I also look forward to see what effect Kahn Academy has since it's been translated into Spanish, which was lacking in Stanford's EPGY Math.

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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm

To even have the opportunity and availability of $1M to be spent on pursuing the use of EDI is a blessing and something most cities won't ever have a chance to benefit from.

There is no substantive data that suggests any one educational approach is the end all or be all for all children in all situations. Having more tools in the toolbox, and developing a cultural attitude where business can contribute to the cities they operate in is beneficial for this region, in the long term, for all parties involved.

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Posted by Google_mom
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm

As someone who is very familiar with the Google philosophy on childcare, education, and development, the fact that Google chose to support the EDI approach and is impressed by it, is mind boggling. Google favors creativity and critical thinking. EDI is a program for mindless repetition and monotony. I would like to know what other factors prompted this generous donation and what the strings that are attached are tied to. Something doesn't add up, BIG TIME

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Posted by Jess Smile-anod
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 17, 2012 at 6:18 am

Google-mom's post is hilarious. She cannot wrap her brain around the possibility that she is actually wrong, so in her mind, "Something doesn't ad up"
Go ferret out all the corruption Google_mom, its gotta be something other than your opinion being incorrect. We'll be here enjoying the weather on Rational Island while you do.

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Posted by Yawn
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 17, 2012 at 7:34 am

I agree with Google-mom.

Here you've got one company giving the school district money that's given to another company that's sellin' EDI--the flavor of the month (like CI two years ago) for the school district administrators buckin' for a bullet on their evaluations that will bring them higher pay.

In between the teachers and the students are being run over. Another one million down the drain just to focus on the lowest end of the school district.

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Posted by Frank Noschese
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Here are two videos of EDI in action in math classes:

"Importance" Web Link& sciId=4096

"Learning Objectives" Web Link? v=SXwh0A3YP5s

There are some good tools here (whiteboards, P2P discussion), but the CONTEXT in which they are used disturbs me.

What is EDI? (from Dataworks, the company who will train the teachers): Web Link (notice the lack of inquiry in EDI)

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Posted by Frank Noschese
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Let's try again with the links from my previous comment...

2 Videos of EDI in action in math:

"Importance" Web Link

"Objectives" Web Link

In contrast, here are 2 videos that show a more inquiry-based approach to math:

"Math Curriculum Makeover" Web Link

"Math Questioning" Web Link

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Posted by NEd
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 18, 2012 at 2:52 am

EDI is designed to do nothing more than get the test scores up for lower income struggling students, in this case of this district, poor Latino kids, many undocumented or from undocumented parents, otherwise no has illegal. At least Google is helping to pay the bill this time around.