Grand Rapids (MI) Schools Standardizing on Windows?

June 1998 – The Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) appear to be standardizing on Windows, if their current $795,000 purchase of Windows-based computer systems is any indication. This may mean they will phase out millions of dollars worth of Macintosh equipment (estimated at 2,000 computers), some of it installed as recently as the 1997-98 school year.

Such a move would be both shortsighted and unwarranted. There has been no call by the teachers, students, or parents to change computer systems. There has been no communication from computer services that such a change would be taking place, or even a request for feedback on changing computing platforms.

Worse, the schools are buying $795,000 worth of computers unprepared to handle January 1, 2000. (The only version of Windows that Microsoft claims as fully Y2K compliant is Windows 98, which is not what GRPS is buying.)

As the father of four children attending Grand Rapids public schools, a concerned taxpaying citizen, and a Macintosh user, I can’t let this happen without speaking out.

Simply put, the Apple Macintosh and the Macintosh operating system make for the easiest to support and most user friendly computing available. They are readily networked, easy for our children to learn, and have a broad base of educational software.

And from the teachers’ perspective, it’s often a computer they have invested their own time and money in.

The time has come for Mac lovers and proponents of choice to stand together and tell the Grand Rapids Public Schools that going to Windows as a primary platform is a foolish move. At the very least, each school should be able to choose whether it wants Windows, Macintosh, or a mix of both platforms.

Dan Knight,
Macintosh user

 * I first learned about the move to Windows from these articles on AppleBits. This article was originally published on my personal website at <>

Keywords: #backwardmigration #grps #grandrapidspublicschools #grandrapids

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