"Thus computered-up poor children actually become dumber than they would have been without the tech."
ONE. No, I think you'll find, at best, the children that approach learning as something important will get SMARTER than those who doss away time on a computer. Having a computer (or a p()rno mag) won't make you dumber, you just might not get as smart as the kids who are developing.
TWO. That apparent assumption that a good grounding in English and Maths is key for being smart. I know people who can recite pretty much everything written by the Bard word for word. They have jobs as theatre actors, but never made it big, so they're out of work as much as in it. They aren't stupid as they can talk at endless length about the themes and meanings and deconstruct every last word, but to say they're in touch with reality would be giving too much credit. English? I bet they aced it. Maths? They took apart the speech patterns too, using a mathematical basis. So I guess they're okay with maths. Society? That's a flunker...
THREE. This study is pre-Twitter and pre-Facebook? It's how old? It's how relevant?
FOUR. That giving a child a computer will automatically make them into better students. Hell, I got a BBC micro and the first thing I did was take it apart and learn about its insides and what made it tick. I guess marginally more useful than playing Elite, but a far cry from what it was expected to be used for - writing essays etc. A kid with a computer and no direction from elders is going to find blasting aliens more fulfilling than homework. That's a no brainer!
FIVE. Failing to make a distinction between upper class households where education will be taken seriously, and "those poor" where, through neglect of generations or apathy or basic lack of resources, education will be a less important part of life. I knew a girl from a poor family who wasn't a dummy but never bothered and was never encouraged to bother. She quickly became a teenage mother and didn't need to bother... I could say "what a waste", but maybe she sees it differently?
I like to think of myself as a reasonably smart guy, but I prefer oven meals to cooking anything. This, no doubt, goes back to a childhood of ridicule for showing an interest in cooking. Oh no, girls do cooking, boys fiddle around with cars. Nobody ever came up with an actual reason WHY a bloke cannot cook (indeed, many of the current bunch of TV cooks are male). There is a lot more to a balanced education than the ability to read, write and add up. Knowing how to live is arguably the most important. The ability to interact with people (isn't being bad at this a Geek stereotype?). The ability to articulate an idea in words? The ability to not only "learn" what you are taught, but to *understand* it. This is. in a way, the Wiki-problem. Wiki is full of information. The internet as a whole is stuffed with it. But information is not knowledge, and it sure isn't understanding. Wiki has taught me many things (though, I must shamefully admit to a current addiction to TVtropes :-) ), however in order to LEARN from Wiki you must join the dots for what it is you are trying to understand, otherwise it is just a group of factoids with about as much relevance to anything as soundbites to political discussion...