The Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, a not-yet-extant charter high school that hopes to be located in the old Media Power building across from Portland Pie on York Street, announced a huge deal this week with Google to provide Chromebook laptops for each incoming freshman and sophomore during its 2012-13 (proposed) inaugural year. The partnership would make Baxter, which will have a curriculum focused on science, tecnology, math, and engineering, "the largest deployer of Chromebooks in all of New England," according to a press release.
advantage Chromebooks represent to educational institutions is making the
hardware transparent to the administrator," said Google engineer Blasie Pabon in the same release. "There is no need to tie a machine to
a particular user, no need to reimage the machine when it fails, no need to
migrate data from one machine to another. The machine becomes as generic as a
stapler, copier or white board."
Maine passed a law allowing charter schools last year; last month, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools named Maine's the best such law in the country (mostly because it aligned so closely with the NAPCS's model legislation).
While the state's newly appointed Charter School Commission held its first meeting in early January, and the second one is February 7th, hopeful founders like John Jacques at Baxter and the folks at the proposed Good Will-Hinckley charter school between Waterville and Skowhegan have been jockeying for public support/awareness for months. The Harold Alfond Foundation recently announced a $10.85 million grant to benefit both the Maine Community College System and Good Will-Hinckley.