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For Immediate Release
Friday, May 13, 2005
Contact:Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106

Report Finds Technology Improvements Made In Schools Statewide

MALDEN - The majority of school districts have gone high-tech over the past five years, with virtually every classroom wired to the Internet and a ratio of less than seven students per every "high capacity" computer.

According to the Department of Education's "Technology in Massachusetts Schools" report, 79 percent of all districts have 100 percent of their classrooms wired. On average, districts have nearly 97 percent of their classrooms and 94 percent of their computers connected to the Internet, up from 79 percent in 1999.

"In today's world, computer literacy and familiarity with the Internet is no longer a choice, it is a necessity," said Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. "It is critical that our teachers keep up with the changing technologies so they can help prepare our students for the 21st century's high-tech demands."

The report found that the state's student-to-high capacity computer ratio was 4.7-to-1 in 2003, down significantly from 15-to-1 in 1997. The state's definition of "high capacity" was updated in 2003 to include more advanced technology, resulting in a 6.9-to-1 ratio in 2004. In all, 60 percent of districts have a ratio or five or fewer students per modern computer.

According to the report, the majority of computers being used are considered high-capacity, but 81 percent of districts are still using older computers. When all available technology is included, the statewide student to computer ratio is 3.7 – down from 4.8 in 2000.

Although per student spending on technology has dipped slightly over the past year, it has risen by more than $120 per student over the past eight years. In 1997, average per pupil spending on technology was $160; that total rose to $276 in 2000, to $298 in 2003 and dropped to $286 in 2004.

The report also found:

  • The percentage of teachers participating in technology professional development courses increased from 61 percent in 2003 to 71 percent in 2004.
  • 37 percent of teachers use technology with students "nearly every day," while just 11 percent say they use it "rarely or never."
  • 67 percent of teachers use technology for professional purposes "nearly every day" and just 4 percent say they use it "rarely or never."

To view the complete report, which includes a district-by-district breakdown of student-to-computer ratios and classroom connectivity, visit the Department of Education's Web site at www.doe.mass.edu.



Last Updated: May 13, 2005
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