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The Detroit News.
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000
Schools left in dark about best technology
By Richard Whitmire / Gannett News Service
WASHINGTON -- School superintendents will spend billions this year bringing technology into classrooms, and it appears they don't have a clue about what they are doing.
"We take it on faith it will make a difference," said Kent McGuire, the top education research officer at the Department of Education.
How could the superintendents know how to spend that technology money? There are no high-quality experiments attempting to answer basic questions such as:
* Should schools wire all classrooms, or just labs?
* Which of the hardware/software combinations being peddled to schools actually increase learning?
* Does writing on a computer help or harm writing skills?
These are tough questions not just for poor inner-city schools: The nation's most prestigious private schools haven't a clue, either.