NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Internet Status Of Schools

September 6, 2000

In 1996 President Clinton announced the goals of installing a computer in every classroom, wiring each to the Internet and training all teachers how to use computers. So far, the federal government has spent $6 billion on the effort. So have Clinton's goals been met?

  • Fully 95 percent of the nation's public schools are now connected to the Internet -- compared to less than half the nation's households.
  • Nevertheless, only about five of every eight classrooms are connected to the Internet -- and schools have on average one computer for every six students.
  • Two-thirds of public school teachers say they now employ computer applications in lessons -- but perhaps only 30 percent use the Internet.
  • And there has been no great push to train teachers in technology use, observers report.

Some 33 percent of teachers claim they are "very well" or "well" prepared to use the Internet. The majority, 53 percent say they are "somewhat" prepared. And 13 percent admit they are not well prepared.

Source: Kenneth J. Cooper, "Internet at School Is Changing Work of Students -- and Teachers," Washington Post, September 5, 2000.


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