Keep Macs in the Grand Rapids Public Schools

June 1998 – As a Mac user and proponent, a taxpayer, and the father of four children enrolled in the Grand Rapids (MI) Public Schools, these news tidbits about our school system migrating to Windows got my attention.

From AppleBits, Monday, June 22, 1998

A particularly challenging problem was presented via my email box this weekend. An AppleBits reader, educator, and frequent correspondent emailed me with a plea for help and advice. This teacher’s school system is about to standardize on Wintel, leaving him and the other educators in his district who use Macs in the lurch. No official edict has been handed down in writing, but he has learned that effectively all new purchases will be Wintel starting very soon. I need your help to help this teacher, and the thousands of students which will be affected by this misinformed decision now and in the future.

First and foremost, somewhere in Apple there is a person who is in charge of education evangelism. I don’t know this for a fact, but rather firmly believe that this must be true. I know that a fair number of Apple employees are reading these words. I need to put someone at Apple who can directly help this school system in touch with the educators who don’t want to lose their Macs. I don’t think I’ve ever used this column to request a direct response from Apple to me. I am now. These people need help from someone at Apple who can provide them with direct support in their efforts while there is still time. Contact me and I’ll put you in touch with them. (In case you were wondering, I’m not talking a 2 room schoolhouse in the woods of Maine here.)

Second, other AppleBits readers can help gather ammo. I’m particularly interested in hearing from people who have successfully staged this kind of defense and what their approaches were. I’m also interested in supporting documentation not readily available in places like the EvangeList web site.

At this point I’m not identifying the school district because the Paladin feels that a lot more can be accomplished by picking up the shovel than unsheathing the sword. I’m hopeful that these folks can be convinced that a mixed environment is a better solution. Stay tuned.

From AppleBits, Tuesday, June 23, 1998

Thanks to all those who responded to my plea for help yesterday. One person from Apple responded with an offer to help get the teachers in touch with an appropriate Apple person (for which I am most grateful). Frankly, I had hoped for more of a response from Apple, but maybe today. The school system in danger of going Wintel-only is Grand Rapids, Michigan, so whatever Apple person is responsible for the education market in that area, please contact me.

From AppleBits, Wednesday, June 24, 1998

Many thanks to all of you who wrote in with assistance with the Grand Rapids School System problem. I’ve heard from a couple of people at Apple and I think we now know the proper people to talk to there. Many of you have written in with anecdotes and suggestions. It’s been such an overwhelming response that the teacher who originally contacted me, Charlie Pinneo, has decided to go public. Please direct your warm wishes and helpful emails to Charlie from here on out, as he’s become the default “point man” for this effort. He’s also being aided in his quest by Dan Knight, of the MacTimes* site, who has taken a “personal” interest in this issue. I’m sure you’ll be seeing much more about this story on Dan’s various sites.

I’m sure you’ll also be hearing more about this story here on AppleBits. In addition, I’m concerned about those of you who wrote in asking for help with similar situations. I’ll be putting together a page with suggestions, things I’ve learned and links to some of the supporting material I’ve found thus far. I’ll let you know when that’s ready.

From AppleBits, Thursday, June 25, 1998

The effort to keep Macs in the Grand Rapids (Michigan) school system continues to gain steam. Dan Knight, of the MacTimes site, who happens to have children in that school system, has created a web page to keep you up-to-date on the situation.

This was the event that gave birth to MacInSchool on Low End Mac. It was originally hosted on my personal web space at <>

 * In late 1997, Low End Mac became part of the MacTimes network and was hosted at

Keywords: #backwardmigration #grps #grandrapids #grandrapidspublicschools

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