Dayna Lindo: Let’s talk student resources

aConnecticut has one of the largest gaps in the nation for high school graduation rates between students from low-income families and their higher-income peers.

In recent years, the state invested heavily in closing that gap. In 2013, 72 percent of low-income students graduated with their class, compared to 93 percent of their more affluent peers. That’s a 21 percent gap.

Two years before that, the percentage point-gap was 27 percent.

For the richest state in the county, a 6 point decrease seems anticlimactic to say the least. Is it possible the gap could be narrowing at a much faster rate?

Of course. Let’s talk school resources.

In 2013, Brookfield High School gave 240 iPads to its freshman class. The tablet computers came with interactive e-textbooks, artwork that can be magnified, and videos that explain concepts.

Imagine the quality of public education in Brookfield, a Connecticut town with a 2013 median income of $131,000. Now think about the quality of public education in towns like Bridgeport, Connecticut, with a 2014 reported median income of $41,000. How can low-income students leverage economic mobility if they don’t have the resources?

Teacher-helping-student-with-iPadIn his recent budget, President Obama proposed a $120 million grant called “Stronger Together” that would attempt to improve diversity in public schools. If the request is approved, money would go to school districts for programs intended to make their schools more diverse.

President Obama’s diversity initiative could provide public schools with the technology needed to keep students engaged and entertained, while effectively educating and encouraging progressive tactics within education curriculums.

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