Radical Reform: iPad Schools Seek to Transform Education

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Steve Jobs died in California in October 2011 -- at about the same time that de Hond decided to instigate an uprising in the Netherlands. Within weeks, frustrated teachers, well-known education professors and dozens of parents had joined his cause. Together they wrote a manifesto for iPad schools. Meanwhile, independent groups in many places began establishing iPad schools, a process that is relatively easy in the Netherlands.

'Unstoppable'

According to a current poll by the daily newspaper De Volkskrant, all parties in parliament support the basic idea, with one exception: The PVV of right-wing populist Geert Wilders is opposed. It wants to see "more structure" in the classroom.

"The movement has become unstoppable," says school reformer de Hond. "I would be very disappointed if we didn't have at least 40 Steve Jobs schools by August of next year." Each of the schools will be publicly funded and open to all children. Parents unable to afford an iPad will receive a subsidy from a solidarity fund.

Whether the schools will actually be allowed to call themselves "Steve Jobs schools" is questionable. The organizers fully expect to hear from Apple's attorneys in Cupertino. "We would like to honor this man in this way," says de Hond. He admits, however, that he hasn't told Apple or Jobs' widow about the honor yet.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

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