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Dec 2002

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Cover Story

Everyone knows that school districts are not the first places to run to when you want to seek out the latest trends in technology. At best, K-12 is about two years behind the business sector in buying and implementing new technology.

But a funny thing is happening across the country. Some school districts are not only catching up to businesses, but in some cases, passing them.

Features

Everyone knows that school districts are not the first places to run to when you want to seek out the latest trends in technology. At best, K-12 is about two years behind the business sector in buying and implementing new technology.

But a funny thing is happening across the country. Some school districts are not only catching up to businesses, but in some cases, passing them.

You've heard the hype, but are online textbooks coming to a computer near you anytime soon?

Find out what these districts have learned

You've seen it.

Students walking through school hallways, nearly slumped over from the immense weight on their backs. It's nearly a crime.

We're talking about students carrying 1,000-page textbooks in backpacks. Many students often get bored when they open such books. Sometimes, textbooks just don't carry their own weight.

Mixing career topics into everyday classroom seals the school-to-work connection. And integration is not as tough as you'd think

"Come to Genitti's. It's the best food in Northville. You'll taste the difference.""The Fraser Inn makes you feel as if you are at home."

These simple ad slogans for businesses in the small Michigan city of Northville appeared in a special section of the local newspaper. The advertising agency of choice? Silver Springs Elementary School, Grade 3.

Opinion

When a student in New York's prestigious Stuyvesant High School created an unofficial school Web site with a message board where the 3,000 students could evaluate teachers anonymously, hundreds of messages were posted daily. While some claimed that individuals assigned too much homework or were overly strict, anonymity also prompted the use of expletives and libelous charges such as "skirt chaser" and "pedophile." The site was shuttered after three teachers threatened legal action.

Solutions

Superintendent needed. Must transform urban school district plagued by bureaucracy, administrative turnover and low-test scores into unified, focused organization. Top-notch reading skills in everything from high school graduation standards to children's classics needed. Arctic explorers encouraged to apply.