I just read Cara Branigan’s article on SIF (“New ed-tech plan gives SIF a boost” ), and I thought you might want to do a little bit of independent research on the matter. SIF was not originated by independent vendors; it was originated by Microsoft nearly nine years ago. Vertical reporting is not side benefit–it is an additional cost. Save millions of dollars? At this point in time, the SIF mandate in the state of Oklahoma will cost schools at the district levels a conservative estimate of $25.5 million ($51,000 per school), and that does not include what it will cost at the state level.

I have also spoken with Larry Fruth, and my personal opinion–based on 22 years of experience in the computer industry–is that he might be an advanced user of Microsoft products, but he does not know whether he is pitching horseshoes or playing shortstop when it comes to programming code and network infrastructure. As for “nonprofit,” check and see what it costs to become SIF-certified and compare that to what it costs to run a three-person operation.

I think SIF is a great idea, but I am still waiting to see an implementation plan that works for schools–and not for the monetary gain of the SIF “chosen one” vendors.
–W. David Odom, Director of Technology Services, Fort Gibson (Okla.) Public Schools

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