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Architosh Staff (
8 June 2001

Macs ousted for CAD Lab at Sacramento High School

Many months ago Architosh published a story on an individual's attempts to keep Macs in the Sacramento City Unified School District's CAD Labs. This was specifically dealing with the CAD instruction at John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento, right in Apple's backyard.

The story garnered much attention and support with many people offering David Link much advice. We also offered up our own pro-Mac statistics and incentives to sway the powers-that-be to stick with Macintosh running some CAD program rather than move over to Autocad on PC's. Here is David's last email to us:

Dear Anthony,

We have failed in our attempt to keep Macs in the Sacramento City Unified School District. School and District IT people have locked into place an agreement with Compaq to supply all computers. Craig and I made spirited defenses of the Mac for classroom use, including printing all the messages that we received from Architosh members.

Running into the Autocad Wall

We ran into a wall of IT people who want only one system to be responsible for, and that system is not the Macintosh. Craig was also told that he should stick with the industry standard (despite our proof that there is no longer any platform or software standard in architecture) in Architecture.

A strange twist included the cancellation of Macs for the art and design department. When Craig countered with the same argument that Kennedy and Sacramento City Unified should stick with the industry standard in art and design, Macs, he was shut down without any reply.

Making Decisions Without Due Diligence

It appears that the decision had been made months ago and no appeal was possible. This is strange, because the Yearbook advisor was able to purchase a complete lab of PowerBook G3s for his students, JUST BEFORE THE CHANGE IN POLICY TO COMPAQS AND WINDOWS.

My school district, Elk Grove Unified, is still well over 80% Macintosh, while San Juan Unified (another Sacramento area district) is still divided between Macs and Windows. Neither logic nor educational validity appeared to be part of the decision.

Kennedy High has stacked 32 PowerMac 7200 (75 to 120 mhz, 500 MB to 1.2 GB drives, built-in ethernet) workstations, including monitors, outside to be dumped. With inexpensive Sonnet upgrades and some more RAM, these units could function well for 5 more years, but there will be no monetary or technical support offered, so they are being dumped. This is sad, as well as poor policy, since students were refused a chance to have these before they were dumped.

Please pass this on to the rest of Architosh members and thank them personally for their support, technical information, and hope.


Closing Thoughts

Well it is particularly sad that this effort has come to this. We were very hopeful that David and Craig would prevail after the excellent testimonials from leading Macintosh-based firms and other educational institutions who offered much assistance. However it appears that the decision was final before all of this effort was put into place.

Perhaps the most troubling of all was the fact that the school dumped perfectly working older Macs without at least giving them away to lower income families who may not have a computer in the home. That kind of act is just plain inexcusable given the fact that so many children in this country still do not have a computer in the home from which to gain access to the Internet.

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