Amplify the Bottom Line (and Excellence)

Students who currently use outmoded devices like these MacBooks will experienced enhanced excellence once they are provided with Amplify tablets.

If only there was a miracle product that could fix the many problems plaguing our failing union-stifled public schools, all in the blink of a cursor’s eye. Reader: today is our lucky day. Edu-visionary and Edushyster transphormer-in-chief Joel Klein has the very miracle gizmo that will at last allow our stifled public school students to begin the long climb up mediocre mountain towards the acme of excellence and the peak of 21st century workplace skills.

For months, excellence lovers everywhere have been on the edge of their seats wondering when, WHEN, Mr. Klein would finally unveil the miracle gizmo that he has been touting as the must-buy education reform accessory for months. Well, wait no longer excellence lover. On this very day Mr Klein:

will take the stage for a surprising announcement. Amplify will not sell just its curriculum on existing tablets, but will also offer the Amplify Tablet, its own 10-inch Android tablet for K-12 schoolchildren.

That sound that you just heard, reader, was the collective dropping of wine boxes everywhere. *I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS AT ALL.* Not in 700 billion dollars years. The Amplify tablet is super 2.0 and innovative. For example, did you know that the tablet comes pre-loaded with state-of-the art emoticons to help teachers determine which students are comprehending their blended learning lessons? Note: these are different and much more innovative than the old-fashioned emoticons that students used to wear on their faces. Also, the kids can play super-cool games on their tablets. Games like one in which “Tom Sawyer battles the Brontë sisters.” The lucky little bastards even get to take their tablets home with them to keep the blended learning going all night long.

Of course some big questions remain. Like is it a good idea for Tom Sawyer to venture into the moors to do battle with Charlotte, Emily and Anne in his bare feet? And how can Amplify pull down some *phat kale* in the increasingly crowded edu-schlock market? Here’s where we get to the true geniu$ of the Amplify business model. I give you the concept of “bundling,” the traditional practice of wrapping one person in a bed accompanied by another, usually as a part of courting behavior. Oops—wrong Wikipedia entry. I meant this kind of bundling in which various services are bundled together in one irresistible package of innovation and excellence.

A preloaded tablet, training and customer care (largely from former teachers) starts at $299, along with a two-year subscription for $99 a year. A higher-end Amplify Tablet Plus, for students who do not have wireless access at home, comes with a 4G data plan and costs $349.

But can our cash-strapped failing schools really afford to drop a bundle on Amplify’s bundle of bundled innovation? That’s the sort of status quo thinking that forced Joel Klein to drop $25,000 of his own $$$ on the recent show down between rephormers v. haters in Los Angeles. The real innovators and edu-preneurs understand that our failing public schools can’t afford NOT TO hand over the dough. Besides, Amplify accepts all major credit cards, PayPal and also Race to the Top dollars, which come bundled with even more excellence and innovation.

And did I mention that in addition to providing a super cool tablet preloaded with many outstanding emoticons and games, Amplify will also do schools the outstandingly generous favor of storing their student data? For all of you conspiracy-minded haters, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT so take off your foil hats and try to stop being such Angry Birds all of the time. You see, the real goal of Amplify isn’t to replace teachers with nifty tablets or peddle customized edu-schlock to the students whose data Amplify conveniently stores. It’s to teach students to read.

“The ultimate goal of this is to turn students into readers,” said Damien Yambo, a producer on the Tom Sawyer game and a former public-school teacher in Detroit. The games, he added, must also compete with Angry Birds.

Who should Tom Sawyer do battle with next? Send comments and ideas to


  1. “along with a two-year subscription for $99 a year.”

    A subscription to what? The Amplify curriculum? $99 per year per student?

    Oy gevalt!

    1. Great idea except that the tablet can’t go under water. So thumbs down to Moby and also to Huck Finn as tablet could fall off the raft when Huck and Jim do battle with Brontes. Ps: get back to me when you have an idea that can actually make some money!

  2. Surprising only to NYT apparently. According to the less credulous BBC, buying the Amplify tablet loaded up with proprietary software is as”daft” as requiring identical haircuts.

  3. Damn, Edushyster! I am literally laughing so hard my foil hat off and the Angry Birds got the flock outta here. If you are even half as funny in person as you are in writing you should have your own segment on the Daily Show…Fo’ shizzle – bundled Race to the Top dollars. Maybe just a yuoutube channel of short videos of you reading this stuff? Truly, the ed-deformers hand you lovely material to work like clockwork. no dearth of content.

    This all would be truly hilarious if it wasn’t so painfully wrong and hurtful to children, parents, teachers and communities.

    1. NOTICE!
      Mrs. Edushyster has been taken off-line due to unduly fawning comments that have caused her head to explode all over the dishes that she wasn’t doing.
      Please do not continue to distract her from her REAL job. Cosmetics/and or marital aids don’t sell themselves!
      Thank you but be warned.
      Mr. Edushyster
      p.s. If you really want to support “the” “Edushyster” we need to monetize this anti “rephorm” stuff. If you can help, as opposed to enabling, please contact her about setting up a house party. That was supposed to be the idea behind this “blog”…

  4. David Copperfield vs. Daisy Miller, rated NC 17

    Silly, naive career changer (higher ed to secondary ed that I am, )I had thought that ETS had gone as far as possible in the “create a need and fill it” business model in the education field. Are these people clinically insane, or just canny investors in the stupidity of the general public?

  5. Wow–what a challenge! Given we are aiming at early readers, how about the Magic Schoolbus goes to Broad Foundation? Maybe Ms. Frizzle, who is a true teacher of excellence, can get to the bottom of the corporate edu-deform mess? I’d also vote for Angry Birds take on Assassin’s Creed.

    I have been trying to find something not completely depressing to say about Philadelphia but that is just impossible. Today I get to go to protest outside the School “Reform” Commission while they vote to close 29 neighborhood schools. The District’s first salvo in the upcoming teacher contract negotiations does have some Onion-esque qualities–like an end to the requirement that the District provide water fountains and desks and a provision that forbids teachers from using reasonable force to defend themselves. But it seems to be a serious proposal so it is hard to laugh at that. If you’d like a link to the proposal, I’ll get you one. Please keep up the good work, Edushyster!!!

  6. I’m with Norah. You are the funniest writer I have read in a long time. Please keep it up: we teachers need to laugh at the ridiculousness of edukational rheeform to maintain our sanity. A box of wine does help, too!

  7. How about Rupert Murdoch? It is his company, after all, isn’t it? I can see it now, Hannity giving his analysis of the feud, noting Tom’s history of fraternizing with escaped criminals; Fox and Friends doing whatever the hell Fox and Friends does (seriously, what is that show??? It just sounds creepy); Bill “Big Guns” O’Reilly blasting liberals for sympathizing with a ‘hooligan’….all while Rupert hacks Tom’s Facebook, e-mail and phone to slowly build a scoop and dirt on not-as-pure-as-everyone-thought Sawyer.

    Bam. Amplification achieved.

  8. But what about the Brontes??? Alas, neither Charlotte nor Emily are even CLOSE 2 being hot enough to appear on Fox. Anne is pretty cute but with Gretchen Carlson already ensconced on the couch does Fox and Friends really need another moralizing hostess??? Hey, wait a sec–what about the excellent new show, The Five? Would anyone REALLY notice if we swapped out Dana Perino for one of the Bronte sibs? Of course they’ll have to leave the long dreary gowns back in Haworth. As any Fox news hostess worth her salt can attest, the only way for viewers to see how smart you are is to show ’em your *brains*…

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