Huppenthal: “We need more money for schools . . . oops, I mean for data collection”

by David Safier

I'm learning that Ed Supe John Huppenthal is either a true geek or a geek-wannabe. He loves plowing through data and studies. His pride and joy is an educational computer-based math game he created, FreeThrow, which he's been trying to get schools across the state to use and hopes to sell nationally. I know Sunnyside District uses it to some extent (though I can't say whether it's because of the game's effectiveness or as a way for Isquierdo to curry favor with Hupp), but I haven't seen anything recent about other districts using it.

And Hupp's a crazy promoter of improving the Ed Department's data system. He's once again begging the lege to send him $16.5 million to upgrade the system. He'd actually like more than $50 million, but he's trying to lower his expectations.

Maybe the money is needed. Maybe the schools and staff would benefit from a computer system that functions better. But when will he become an equally enthusiastic promoter for increased education funding? Here's the closest Hupp has come to advocating for more money for schools.

"Our school system needs to be compensated at least for inflation," he said. "And they need a little bit of catch-up ground from the cuts over the last couple of years."

That's a pretty weak sermon coming from the Ed Supe's bully pulpit. It's nothing close to his continual drumbeat for (Oh boy! Computers!) money to upgrade his data system.

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