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S E C T I O N 2 Education ■ April 4, 2012 A LSO C INSIDE A LE N DA R 25 |R E A L E S TAT E 27 |C L AS S I F I E D S 33 Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac Discussing the role of digital technology in bridging the academic achievement gap in the Sequoia Union High School District are, from left, moderator and journalist Betsy Corcoran, venture capitalist Alan Louie, Karen Cator, director of the U.S. Office of Educational Technology, and David Reilly, principal of Woodside High School. CAN TECH CLOSE THE GAP? Panel asks whether technology can reduce the yawning gap in student performance By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer D igital technology is a disruptive force that is and has been upending many established institutions, including publishing, entertainment and what constitutes working for a living. While it has made inroads into education, it’s still debatable whether it has a useful role in the complex learning that leads to lifelong creativity and the ability to think critically. COMPLETED COURSE WORK FOR COLLEGE ADMISSION ENROLLED IN AT LEAST ONE ADVANCED COURSE Is digital technology a force for good in the classroom, or do these flat screens simply add bells and whistles to the material? If the promise is genuine, when might it come to pass? Most important, can it help bridge the longstanding achievement gap between students with socioeconomic advantages — such as family wealth, great teachers and educated and involved parents — and those students, often students of color, who lack such advantages in their homes and communities? The gap is real in the Sequoia Union High School District, which includes Menlo-Atherton and Woodside high schools. For the Class of 2011, the demographics are stark, according to a recent presentation by Brandon Lee of the district’s research and evaluation office. For example, an assessment of who did and who did not complete the coursework needed for college admission showed 75 percent and 69 percent, respectively, of Continued on page 23 Sequoia Union High School 2011 graduating seniors 100 100 90 90 80 75.4% 77.1% 80 68.9% 70 70 61.8% 60 50 50 37.2% 40 30 60 25.0% 40 19.2% 20 12.5% 20 12.3% 10 0 Asian Hispanic-Latino Pacific Islander 18.1% 10.4% 10 0 African American 29.4% 30 25.0% Caucasian 4.5% Socioeconomically disadvantaged English Language Learner Source: Sequoia Union High School District Academic achievement differed sharply along ethnic, socioeconomic and linguistic lines among graduating seniors in the 2011 class. April 4, 2012 N The Almanac N21

The Almanac 04.04.2012 - Section 2

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