Thousands of PCs going to schools

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty today announced plans to deploy 6,356 Dell computers to the District of Columbia's public schools. The initiative will be led by the district's Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

Fenty said the new computers weren't a silver bullet in his administration's efforts 'to transform our city's public school system after decades of mismanagement of funding and deployment.' But the computers will give teachers the tools they need to 'focus their efforts on the district's greatest resource'our children'and not on pushing paper through a broken system,' the mayor said.

The initiative will cost $4 million and includes an allotment of $628 per computer; it also will include infrastructure improvements such as network cables, power strips and access points. Every classroom teacher and administrator in the school system will have a secure and reliable desktop computer.

Teachers will be able to use the PCs to access a central database of student records and educational tools. They'll also be able to enter grades and attendance records into a database.

The official computer deployment will begin Nov. 26. Anacostia High School and schools on the east side of the Potomac River will be the first to receive the new computers. By Feb. 1, 2008, every classroom will be equipped with a PC and a student computer lab.

'We must use the Internet and other computer applications to help our students compete in the global economy and to enable our teachers to do what they do best, teach and mentor the future leaders of our country,' said Vivek Kundra, the district's chief technology officer.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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