Technology in Urban Schools

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In edited excerpts from this new report by the Education Writers Association, Catalyst takes the pulse of four cities’ efforts to equip their schools and classrooms with computers. In Chicago, local school control is proving to be both a blessing and a curse. In Milwaukee, an ambitious technology plan aims to connect all 156 buildings and put mini-networks, a printer, a television and a multimedia teacher workstation in every classroom—by 2002. In Cleveland, the primary grades and their teachers got a huge head start, thanks to a state program; every classroom has three multimedia computers, and every teacher has a laptop computer. In Detroit, amply equipped charter schools lure students from a broken-down school system, recently “taken over” by the mayor. In every city, progress is halting.