Do Michigan Politicians Really Want To Buy An iPod For Every Child?

from the details-please dept

The Detroit News has an editorial today blasting a proposal from state politicians that would include spending to buy an MP3 player for every school child in Michigan. The editorial is decidedly against the plan (the headline to the newspaper editorial reads: “An iPod for every kid? Are they !#$!ing idiots?” and people blame blogs for incendiary headlines?). Of course, the article doesn’t bother to explain the details, and the idea that they’d buy an MP3 player (whether or not it’s an iPod) certainly does sound pretty ludicrous. I’ve tried calling both the main number at the Michigan House of Representatives and the phone number for the Speaker of the House’s office, but in both cases it went to voicemail. If anyone has any more details about what was actually proposed, let us know. If it’s true that they proposed buying an MP3 player for every kid without a good explanation for why, that’s just silly. However, it’s so far out there that it feels like there must have been something (purposely or not) left out in the translation from proposal to angry editorial.

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Comments on “Do Michigan Politicians Really Want To Buy An iPod For Every Child?”

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Michael McMannus says:

New programs that make sense!

This makes as much sense as the “No Ipod Left Behind” legislation, and also the Xbox-for-guns programme.

When is the blood-for-beer programme going live? It’d be a great plan to have a beer after donating a pint of blood– It works on so many levels, and is ingenous. But don’t copy it, because I’ve already patented it.

Comicfan says:

Re: Re: New programs that make sense!

A good idea?? How about PARENTS making sure their damn kids don’t have them!? Do you know how many STOLE guns to get this XBOX? Bet they didn’t tell you those statistics! Not only that, you get legal citizens turning in their guns while criminals who would just steal an XBOX anyway, are still running around with firearms. To me anyone who believes taking guns from honest people who own them as a defense are the most dangerous type, worse than the criminals who own guns, that’s right, disarm america so only criminals have the upper hand. No offense but only people who don’t live in the real world or have never had someone break into their home would think that way.

paperboy says:

we'll see

I grew up with the Detroit News, and made a few dimes delivering it door-to-door. I don’t believe much of what i read in that paper. The proposal might be for music classes using traditional and technological instruments, and the DetNews could be translating that as iPods. We’d better wait and see this from another source.

OpheliaAwakens says:

Re: we'll see

The Detroit News does tend to be more conservative than the Free Press, but knowing how things have been going with the Michigan educational system, I wouldn’t be totally shocked. I think that the money would be better spent helping those who have been losing jobs due to auto industry cutbacks to find new career paths. Else there will be no one left in the state to tax.

Comicfan says:

Another Michigan resident here, and I have to say, I can’t wait to get the hell out Michigan, if ever there was a boneheaded backwards state, it’s here! Even though the economy is one of the worst, there is no help for struggling residents, instead, let’s buy #%$$^$^^#ing MP3 PLAYERS!!

It’s like when 911 happened, in our paper, there was a little square box on the side with it, and the front page was a girl blowing on a freakin’ dandelion!! What was the governer’s plan last year for our economy? More liquor licensing! Most half of Mich up to the north is all bars and gas stations, no real business! Cigarette tax, now they want to tax food, cut even MORE school funding, tax HAIRCUTS, what the hell is going on????

I also blame residents of Mich for not standing against this, every time I say something, I get mobbed or people ignore it and accept it like it’s nothing. Basically Michigan is taking every ounce of money from it’s people to supposedly save this state, and they get nothing in return.

Well, good luck Michigan, we are a dying state in mainly the surroundings of larger areas and you may have high energy costs, low paying jobs, high cig tax, no school funding, but hey…at least you will have…

A ^^%&@&%!!!! MP3 PLAYER!!!!


C0fu73d says:


Mike- I Appreciate the ambiguous link.

Everyone Else-

I see two sides:
1) How do we get the children to better utilize current technology for education…
I listen to plenty of books on tape for my continuous education (I’m 29, when does education stop?) while I commute (wait… is that study time?). There are many, many complaints of kids carrying too much weight – from biology, history, literature, and band manuscripts to every other text. This comes to #2.
2) How do we formalise and ensure that these new education tools are utilised effectively and within what goal? If the devices are easily wiped and overwritten with the latest music (or Pink Floyd tunes which this generation is oh so familiar with through 3 second clips from modern DJs) or episodes of Lost.

In my mind, if they are controlled with *LEGITIMATE* educational content (what the textbooks provide), then I am all for distributing and having the devices returned at the end of the year, to be updated over the summer and distributed the next year.

Robert says:

Leave it alone...

If the state is as backwards as Comicfan says it is then it shouldn’t be a surprise that they would propose such a ridiculous item. It is -IMPOSSIBLE- to ensure that a government issued iPod is going to be used for nothing but education, same as a laptop and PSP. The reason we work so hard to invent ways to keep education fun baffles me, why should you have to bribe a child to learn? If a parent is too lazy or incompetent to make sure that their child is learning at an appropriate level it isn’t a taxpayer’s responsibility to make them learn. If lil’ Johnny is more interested in furthering his rap “career” than learning the 50 states we should let him FAIL. Sooner or later he will get it right or give up and drop out; if he manages to succeed then HUZZAH he makes way for another student and progresses through the grades, if he fails and drops out HUZZAH he makes way for another student and takes his rightful place in a minimum wage job. When I was in school (about 4 years ago) the idea of failing while all of my friends and classmates passed mortified me into dropping my disinterest in learning, that should be incentive enough for ANY student. Still not good enough? If Johnny doesn’t pass his classes you take away his computer, his CD’s, his after-school activities and everything else that he does instead of learning. My parents set the groundwork for me to excel but I was still too lazy to get top marks in my classes, so everytime I brought home anything less than a “C” they would ground me. I learned quickly that if I wanted any semblance of a social life or any hobbies that I would have to focus more on school and learning. Here I am today, my parents weren’t the most strict but I did get grounded and spanked, I have a Bachelor’s in Business Management and I work as a Territory Manager for Dell Computers. CHEERS TO SELF-MOTIVATION AND TOUGH LOVE!

DBL says:

“A good idea?? How about PARENTS making sure their damn kids don’t have them!? Do you know how many STOLE guns to get this XBOX? Bet they didn’t tell you those statistics! Not only that, you get legal citizens turning in their guns while criminals who would just steal an XBOX anyway, are still running around with firearms.”

Er … wait a second … are the criminals stealing X-boxes and keeping their guns, or are they stealing the guns specifically to get X-boxes?

You’re so enraged by ideas that you oppose, that you can’t even get your objections to it straight. Calm a down a little, pal, you might be able to think a bit more clearly next time…

Comicfan says:

Re: Re:

I do apologize, it came across very harsh, I was not yelling just stressing points, nor was I truly that angry, my bad. There were reports on kids stealing their parents guns to bring in for Xboxes but quickly faded from the limelight.

While I don’t own a gun, with 3 kids in my home, that is my personal decision, however, taking people’s guns is not something I agree with at all. Not to get off topic but a few points i’d like to make…

1. kids have been killed by getting their parent’s guns and accidents happening. Ok, where are the parents? Why wasn’t the gun well hidden or have a lock? Why did the media jump all over these cases and plaster them EVERYWHERE? Parents are far too busy trying to pay billsworking due to our economy, can’t afford a baby sitter so kids are left home. Not a parent’s choice but to survive it must be done.

2. On the flip side, I personally know parents that just one makes enough money to not worry about funds, more than enough. However, be it the man or woman, they want a career and leave the child to do whatever they want. A child is a career and people seem to forget this.

3. Some parents simply don’t care.

4. As stated, criminals will find a way to have guns, they don’t get most of their guns from stealing them from local people, they get them in other ways, disarming America is a decision made for control.

You wouldn’t think I was a parent who’s child was in fact threatened with a gun at school, but I am. The kid simply took the gun out of his parents drawer, no lock, fully loaded. The parent is also a real charm, could care less what the kid does. While I was furious with the child, I blame the parent the most. The parent still doesn’t care. We made a police report etc… and the gun was taken from the home. Yet, I still don’t agree with disarming everyone, why? A man broke into my home 3 months after buying it, I fought him off at the door and the police came and arrested him. I thought, had I been an older man, disabled, he would have came in or beat past me and did god knows what. I was lucky , he could have had a gun but didn’t, however, how would an elder person defend themselves? No, even with all this, I don’t or ever will agree. If they take ALL guns away, meaning, from ALL criminals, Police, and everyone else, then I may agree. Until then, not until equalized.

I hear of many death’s over a year, lost two friends recently AAMOF, one murdered by her husband, another riding in an Ambulance that colided with a Semi, everyone I know who has died, hasn’t been from a gun. Not saying there aren’t a lot but when do our states finally try to REALLY clean up our streets and such? Crime is money, they won’t do away with it.


Kwame K. says:

MP3 & Michigan

People of Michigan re-elected this governor. There’s some blame to share. In her State of the State address, she made a ton of proposals, but didn’t indicate where she’s getting the funding. Well, ok, goes without saying its coming from us. Dems are in budget negotiations with Reps. at the moment. Either side is going to say something to shake up the budget process at this point. I don’t put much stock into it. Don’t buy it unless you hear Alan Cropsey say it.

Darkside says:

Ipods and taxes

okay here is a link to the Detroit Freepress that gives some info on the projected budget deficit, new taxes and ipods

Tax protest

At 11 a.m. April 18, the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and others will hold what they call a tea party on the grounds of the Capitol in Lansing to oppose budget proposals to raise taxes. For more information, call 517-853-9073.

don't blame me, I wrote in Alfred E. Newman says:

Please spare me.

The perfectly insane is perfectly normal in this state. The inmates have been running the asylum in Lansing for decades. One wonders how many harebrained schemes they’ve pushed through that the newspapers DIDN’T get wind of.

As for education, we spend far too much on it in this state. You can look across the country and see that the lowest standardized test scores for achievement are found in the locations that spend the most per pupil, like Washington, DC. The highest scores are from the locations that spend the least, like Vermont and New Hampshire. This is the elephant in the living room that no one dares to speak of when we talk about educating our children.

Everything that there is to know about teaching children to read, write, and do arithmetic was known in 1840. Those who doubt me are invited to do an Internet search for the old McGuffey Reader and peruse its contents.

Everything over and above that, and I mean EVERYTHING, whether it’s “self-esteem,” “New Math,” “New New Math,” “outcome-based education,” “gender studies,” “social promotion,” “intelligent design,” or “an iPod for every child,” is a fraud. It is a crock of s*** from top to bottom and end to end, whose sole purpose is to keep the grant money coming and provide cushy do-nothing featherbedded Affirmative Action government jobs for ignorant unproductive drones with Ed. D. after their names.

If we were truly serious about education, we’d cut back the state education budget by around three quarters, and we’d go back to the system that has a proven track record of success: 50+ students per classroom, no calculators, no computers, just the McGuffey Reader and iron discipline. This would also have the highly salutory effect of balancing the budget and freeing up some money to fix Michigan’s roads, which are the worst in the Midwest.

But that’s not going to happen, because the NEA would howl, and the “public servants” who supposedly work for us are for some reason more afraid of them.

Ponce De Leon (user link) says:

Re: Please spare me.

If we were truly serious about education, we’d cut back the state education budget by around three quarters, and we’d go back to the system that has a proven track record of success: 50+ students per classroom, no calculators, no computers, just the McGuffey Reader and iron discipline.

We also need electric skillets to teach kids how to make a good, tasty Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Slightly Disagree says:


Although I don’t agree with “one I-pod for every child” or whatever the policy really is, I also disagree with the commenters who believe that education shouldn’t cost much and that a Spartan style of classroom education works.

The point of public education is to educate as many children as possible, right? It’s not to reward only those who can learn successfully in a boring, rigid environment, or those whose parents can afford to pay for expensive, high-quality tutoring to supplement the education they get in school.

I don’t think that education was EVER how Please Spare Me describes it. Why do you think the alphabet song was created? Before calculators, people used the abacus. Popcorn reading isn’t just so the teacher can check as many students’ reading abilities as possible in one session, it’s also designed to add an element of fun because the kids get to pick the next person to read out loud after they finish their turn.

Making learning fun and easier doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, but I think the research would support the conclusion that it does lead to better results.

cp says:

She’s paroled tons of people out of jackson state pen., and I beg to differ that you can blame all of the michigan voters. A significant percentage voted for DeVos, seeing as they saw how jennifer granholm is dumb as hell. She doesn’t have her stuff together, and my neighbors are moving out because they lost their jobs, despite the grade michigan economic development plan. So screw her.

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