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From DA

04/2006

Surveys show that most teachers, students and parents positively perceive laptop initiatives, but few controlled studies have examined the relationship between various laptop programs and student achievement. As district officials weigh options for investing limited technology dollars, they may wish to consider what the research can (and can't) tell us.

Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. faced a hot scare in the cold war. The Soviet Union launched in 1957 the first satellite, Sputnik, into space, sending the U.S. into a tizzy of fear. So the government poured billions of dollars into the space program as well as better math and science programs in American schools.

Now, the nation's schools are facing an economic scare in part due to countries like China and India taking on more American jobs.

Teachers at Oakwood Elementary School in Lakewood, Wash., outside of Seattle, watched TV at their first staff meeting last fall, and the dial was turned to the local news.

Another year, another budget, another fight. Educators are saying, and congressmen are agreeing, that the federal education budget proposal of $54.4 billion for 2007 is just not good enough.

Buying a laptop computer for every student: About $1,000

Hiring a consultant to teach teachers how to use laptops in lessons:

Roughly $1,500/day

Watching students use technology to draw conclusions something they wouldn't

normally be able to do:

Priceless

Innovative Program Gets Students Reading

Real-Life Budget Decisions

Tutoring Concerns Lurk

Only about 12 percent of American students eligible for Supplemental Educational Services under the No Child Left Behind law are actually receiving the services. SES gives low-income parents real options to get free tutoring for their children.

While the 2004-05 school year numbers are unavailable, the U.S. Department of Education says that in 2003-04 year, 226,000 students received tutoring and 32,000 students transferred to other schools.

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