Vintage Grilled Cheese Ipad heaA California high school aborts an “incentive” program that would give lower-scoring students different colored ids and a separate lunch line. Kindergarteners in Auburn, Maine, meanwhile, are handed iPads along with their jars of paste.

High School Kills Color-Coded ID Program

“Anaheim Union High School District has killed a controversial incentive program that assigned students color-coded ID cards and planners based on state test scores, required those who performed poorly to stand in a separate lunch line and awarded the others with discounts. The program was designed to urge students to raise scores on the California Standards Tests, but it also raised concern among parents and students who said it illegally revealed test scores and embarrassed those who didn’t do well.”

Personally, I’d rather be in Auburn:

Maine School District Gives iPad To Every Kindergartner

‘An Auburn, ME school district spent more than $200,000 to outfit every one of its 250 kindergartners with [iPads], along with sturdy cases to protect them. School officials say they are the first public school district in the country to give every kindergartner an iPad. Mrs. McCarthy says the tools give her 19 students more immediate feedback and individual attention than she ever could.’ Will this improve low test scores, or be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome?”

At least one study says no:

Inflating the Software Report Card

The federal review of Carnegie Learning’s flagship software, Cognitive Tutor, said the program had “no discernible effects” on the standardized test scores of high school students. A separate 2009 federal look at 10 major software products for teaching algebra as well as elementary and middle school math and reading found that nine of them, including Cognitive Tutor, “did not have statistically significant effects on test scores.”

Amid a classroom-based software boom estimated at $2.2 billion a year, debate continues to rage over the effectiveness of technology on learning and how best to measure it. But it is hard to tell that from technology companies’ promotional materials.

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