Baltimore Schools Drop the Mac

Baltimore County, Maryland, schools are pulling Macs out of the classroom in favor of Windows PCs. School system leaders claim the decision makes it easier to provide technical support, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Some teachers are openly upset over the move, especially since Macs wonit be available for creative and design-related classes. Cantonsville high school graphic arts teacher, Anne Peach, stated "We have potentially thousands of students who are potentially not going to be prepared after this yearis class."

School officials disagree. They think students will be just fine since applications like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and QuarkXPress are all available for the Windows platform. They also claim that students and staff need to use a single computer platform to be able to share information efficiently.

Removing the Macs from schools will cost the county more than US$1 million, and almost all of the schools will have completed the transition by this fall.

Some of the design firms that offer internships arenit interested in working with the schools now that students will lack Mac experience.

Kevin Keane, president of IAPHC (an international graphic professionalsi network) commented "If people are specifically interested in a career in graphic arts, to not be exposed at all to the Mac is probably a disadvantage."

Baltimore County is already a predominantly Windows-platform school system. Macs have been limited to primarily the graphic and multimedia programs in the high schools. Without the Macs, however, teachers are concerned that they wonit have the tools available to properly prepare students for the workforce.

Ms. Peach commented "Iim worried about me training the kids to get the jobs I know they can get - but only if they can get the right equipment."