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Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement - Term Paper Example

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The paper 'Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement' gives detailed information about difficult decisions which are being made by governments in many countries with the end of rationalizing the allocation of resources, especially in the education sector…
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Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement
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Download file to see previous pages In fact, more than $66 billion is said to have been invested in school technology (QED, 2004). This unprecedented level of investment in educational technology has raised expectations of legislators and the public who have been looking for returns on this investment (Benton, 2002; CEO Forum, 1999, 2000), and therefore are calling for evidence regarding the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of technology especially in K-12 schools (Ringstaff & Kelley, 2002; Panel on Educational Technology, 1997; Melmed, 1995).
No child left behind (NCLB) requires states to demonstrate that "every student is technologically literate by the time the student finishes the eighth grade, regardless of the student's race, ethnicity, gender, family income, geographic location, or disability" (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). While NCLB has established an eighth-grade technology literacy requirement, the requirement is not a full statement of knowledge and skills students need nor does it include a mechanism for ensuring accountability (Kay & Honey, in press).
Educational funding has been found to be associated with student achievement (Lance (2001), Miller (2002), Siminitus (2002), and Whitington (2002). Generally, that would mean more funding may be able to enhance student achievement. The RAND study findings (Grissmer, et al. 2000) found that when other characteristics, like socioeconomic status and family background, are equal, NAEP test scores are higher in states that have: 1) higher per-pupil expenditures, 2) lower pupil-teacher ratio in lower grades, 3) higher percentage of teachers who feel they have adequate resources for teaching, 4) more children in public prekindergarten programs, and 5) lower teacher turnover.

In Burke County, North Carolina Research (Pritchard 2000), the Burke County schools in 1995-96 reduced class sizes in first- and second-grade to 15 students per teacher. The study found: 1) increased achievement in both reading and math, and 2) More teacher time devoted to instruction due to fewer discipline problems.
The Ohio Education Association in a member survey stated that new educational policies have done more harm than good, while Ohio political leaders have continued to neglect severe funding problems of Ohio public schools (Ohio Education News).
The highlights of the 4000 Member Survey include -
Only 5% of respondents feel Ohio's school funding system gives every school district equal resources for quality education for all students.
Eighty-seven percent indicated Ohio's system of funding education is fundamentally flawed.
Two-thirds feel that their school districts are under-funded, and 93% feel that Ohio schools overall are under-funded.
Eighty-nine percent feel the state legislature has failed to solve the state's education funding crisis.
Between 85% and 95% of those surveyed feel initiatives like No Child Left Behind, tuition vouchers, and some aspects of high-stakes testing have done more harm than good.
Two of other popular researches include the Tennessee STAR Project (Prichard 2000a) which tested the effect of class size on student achievement, where smaller classes outperformed regular classes, and HEROS (Health and Education Research Operative Services) Research (Prichard 2000b) which also found that reducing class size increased student achievement, with the optimal student/ teacher ratio of 15:1. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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