I thought many of you would be interested in knowing about Boston
Schools' wonderful accomplishment.
Joint Venture Will Make Boston First
Big City in U.S. to Network Every School
The gulf between students who have a home computer and those who dont is
one of the most troubling inequities in the education systemIt isnt just
that the have nots are forced to turn in work that is less polished. They
also are falling behind in computer skills they will need in college and
the job market, and they are unlikely to be exposed to as many facts and
ideas as classmates who can navigate the Internet. -- Class
Problems for Computer Have Nots by David Nakamura, The Washington Post,
March 11, 1998
Boston will become the first large urban school district in the nation to
network every school and library when it celebrates Boston Net Day on
October 26, 1998.
The achievement is a major milestone in a two-year-old public/private
partnership that has attracted more than $26 million in outside funding to
bring computer technology to Bostons 64,000 students and 4,800 teachers.
Concerned by the growing disparities in access to new technology between
urban and suburban populations, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino in 1996
announced his plan to install one computer for every four students and wire
all schools, libraries and community centers to the Internet by 2001. Also
that year, President Clinton and Vice President Gore unveiled a challenge
to wire every school in the U.S. to the Internet by the turn of the
century. In October, Boston becomes the first major urban school district
in America to meet that challenge.
According to researchers, 70% of Americas families with incomes over
$50,000 have computers in the home. But 90% of Boston students lacked
access to computers at home when the initiative began. Now, every student
will have a chance to use technology as a learning tool and prepare for
productive lives in a city where 60% of all jobs will require technology
skills by the year 2000.
Over 100 business partners, including 3Com, Intel, HiQ and Microsoft, have
joined government and the community, including labor unions such as the
I.B.E.W., to make Bostons goal a reality.
Corporate donors also helped to create the first free training facility to
help teachers incorporate technology into their curriculum, to supplement
traditional chalk and talk teaching with new interactive learning
applications. And the Boston Teachers Union encourages every teacher to
undertake a technology assessment and develop a plan for utilizing new
Business executives say they invested in Boston because of Mayor Meninos
and the appointed School Committees commitment to education and because of
confidence in Bostons Superintendent of Schools, Thomas Payzant. The
Superintendent points to the new technology as another vehicle to reach
higher standards of teaching and learning in the classroom as well as
greater accountability throughout the system.
The networking of every school and library in Boston will connect students
and teachers to educational resources outside the classroom. It will equip
students with new tools to enrich learning. It will provide teachers with
new ways to motivate students. It will allow greater use of e-mail to
enhance communication among educators and parents. And it will enable
schools to benefit from the Citys new contract with Cablevision, which
commits the cable company to provide every school and library with free
high-speed Internet service for the next ten years.
For more information, please contact Steve Gag, Mayors Office,
<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com One City
Hall Square, Room 608, Boston, MA 02201
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