Spring Break nears for many schools around the country, and parents everywhere will be getting reports cards. Though the reports are the bane of the schoolbus crowd, they are needed to gauge how well a child is doing in his or her academic endeavors. The same can also be true for companies, and BusinessWeek has published a report card of sorts for Apple.
According to Alex Salkever, Apple hasnit earned straight Ais in the last few years. Apple lost the contract to supply Michigan kids with laptops, and the company long ago gave up the #1 education vendor spot to Dell. The BusinessWeek article also notes some support issues in a school district in Pennsylvania.
While Apple may not be at the head of the class, however, it definitely isnit a drop-out either. Mr. Salkever says that Appleis education market share is once again heading in the right direction, and that most school systems who have Apple equipment installed like what they have. From the report:
While sales figures are good, in education test scores are paramount. And Apple has something to crow about there. The Henrico County initiative, one of the two largest one-to-one computing deals on Appleis list, recently reported significant improvements in test scores for students participating in the program, which gives laptops to students in grades 6 through 12.
Henrico also reported a significant decrease in high school dropout rates. Apple executives cite similar results in a statewide computing initiative in Maine, their other one-to-one poster child.
That doesnit mean no one has criticized these programs. In Henrico, some parents have claimed the computer-centric curriculum replaces critical thinking with training for multiple-choice tests. But test scores are still one of the most reliable ways to judge relative achievement. And these positive results will give Appleis sales staff solid ammo in its education quest.
Thereis more information in the full report at BusinessWeekis Web site, and we recommend it as a good read.