More Funds Needed for Libraries
After reading your recent feature story about the future of school libraries ("Going Out of Print," February 2011), I questioned the information about millions in funding having been spent for library media specialist education through No Child Left Behind. According to the American Library Association Office of Government Relations, these funds were distributed to all 50 states through grants and that "in FY 2009, out of approximately 450 applicants, only 57 grants were funded."
The average publication date of the print collection at our high school is 1986. However, as of this writing, our district is facing a $15 million shortfall for 2011-2012. Considering the current national discussion about improving student achievement, we must not forget that students who read succeed. School librarians are educated to evaluate curriculum and standards and to use professional resources to select print and nonprint materials that support students of all learning abilities.
Kathy Spitzer, school librarian, Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) High School
ELL Success, Frustrations
I just finished reading the ELL article ("Successful Strategies for English Language Learners," February 2011) and found it to be informative and helpful in identifying some of the innovative practices from around the country. During my days as superintendent in New York City, I participated in the growth of various schools, such as the High School of World Cultures in New York, Gregorio Luperon High School Letters for Science and Mathematics, Liberty High School and International School of Brooklyn, all of which emphasized services to newly arrived immigrants. The experience was unforgettable.
Rich Organisciak, superintendent, City School District of New Rochelle (N.Y.)
Mobile Vision in Texas
I just read the mobile learning article in District Administration ("Mobile Goes Mainstream," February 2011). You really captured the vision in transforming the traditional learning process through the use of familiar mobile technologies. Improved wireless infrastructures coupled with a myriad of devices available to students and teachers (school and personally supplied), will definitely accelerate the change in the learning process. With social media being such a major influence in the lives of our students, it is great to see the collaborative endeavors of school districts across the country, embracing the opportunities educators have in reaching a new level of student, parent and community engagement. Thanks for continuing to share innovative ideas with our learning community.
Joe Griffin, chief technology officer, Keller (Texas) Independent School District
I just read about data integration in DA and my project with Worcester Polytechnic Institute ("What's Your Integration Strategy?" March 2011). Glad you found value in what my project has been doing. Massachusetts is bringing me back for a conversation about selecting a provider of a classroom support system for their Race to the Top project. The state wants something that will work once they hit their funding cliff three years from now when RTTT is over. They are considering ASSISTments from WPI.
Neil T. Heffernan, associate professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Searching for Data on Special Needs App
Your news article about the iPad being used for autistic children ("The iPad-Breaking New Ground in Special Education," November/December 2010) was very enlightening. I am a speech- language pathologist working in a special needs school in New York City and am creating a comprehensive speech- language app for the iPad and Android tablets. I have been doing research related to the number of children with special needs who have these devices, as well as the impact these devices are having on their communication and learning.
Jaime Openden, MS, CCC-SLP CEO, Bignity Ventures