Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Digital Divide and Standards of Learning

This past weekend, my wife and I were discussing our third grader's first academic right of passage - taking her first Standards of Learning or SOL test.

She was struggling with her math, so we had her practice with an online program called SOL Pass.

SOL Pass advertises itself as "Virginia's Leader in SOL Science and Social Studies Practice and Review for Elementary and Middle School."  It is a nice resource, but it also got me thinking again about The Digital Divide which I have written about in other articles on this blog:

Many children in the 44th District do not have parents who are sophisticated enough to know whether their children are struggling on SOL material or to understand it themselves.  Even if they do understand, many of the children in the 44th District do not have computers or broadband in their homes that are capable of accessing SOL Pass.

When I think about why every elementary school on the west side of U.S. 1, Bucknell Elementary, and Mount Vernon High School struggle to maintain their academic accreditation with the state, these issues should be front and center.

My children have the opportunity to practice and test for their SOL tests that many children in the 44th District cannot even attempt to access because they do not have the equipment of broadband connections.

I will be unveiling a project to begin to address in this in the 44th District very soon.  But we must also address this at the statewide level.  Closing The Digital Divide must also be at the forefront of education reform in Virginia.

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