Assistive Technology In Public Schools Increases At A Slow Pace

Wireless access in public schools is increasing, although it's still fairly low, and schools are using more security measures to protect students from violence.

SOURCE: NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS, INTERNET ACCESS IN U.S. PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Public Schools Go Wireless

Wireless access in public schools continues to grow, with 32 percent of public schools reporting Internet access using wireless connections in 2003, which is an increase from 23 percent the previous year. (Percentages are based on the 99.8 percent of U.S. public schools that had Net access in 2003 and the 99 percent that had access in 2002.) Wireless connections in public-school classrooms remained low in 2003, however, with only 11 percent of instructional rooms including wireless Internet connections.

Wireless connections can be found across schools in all location types, with town schools leading the way at 37 percent, followed by urban fringe schools at 35 percent, city schools at 32 percent and rural schools at 26 percent.

Town Schools: 37%

Urban Fringe Schools: 35%

City Schools: 32%

Rural Schools: 26%

SOURCE: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS, 2005

Violence In Schools

How safe are students at school? In 1999-2000, 71 percent of public schools experienced one or more violent incidents, with 36 percent of public schools reporting violent incidents to the police. The occurrence varied by school level: 61 percent of primary schools, 87 percent of middle schools and 92 percent of secondary/ high schools had violent incidents.

Schools are employing additional security systems to protect their students, including the use of security cameras to monitor campuses. Fourteen percent of primary schools, 20 percent of middle schools and 39 percent of high schools used one or more security cameras to monitor their school.

Primary Schools

Violent Incidents: 61%
Schools Using Security Cameras: 14%

Middle Schools

Violent Incidents: 87%
Schools Using Security Cameras: 20%

Secondary/High Schools

Violent Incidents: 92%
Schools Using Security Cameras: 39%

SOURCES: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS AND U. S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS, 2005

CORRECTION

In the March/April 2006 EdTech, we awarded a Tinfoil Star to Los Angeles high schools because they offer Advanced Placement computer science classes in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). That article incorrectly implied that these classes were open mainly to magnet school students. In fact, a large number of nonmagnet students attend these courses as well. This only goes to show how truly deserving the LAUSD is of the Tinfoil Star Award.

— Lee Copeland, Editor in Chief, EdTech: Focus on K-12

Oct 31 2006

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