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Software makers target low-income schools with test-prep programs.

A growing number of struggling schools in low-income areas are attempting to raise standardized test scores by making students complete rote memorization programs in computer labs, sometimes on a daily basis. Educational software makers heavily market these "drill and practice" products to such schools, the Baltimore Sun reports. Schools that adopt these test-prep programs may or may not-boost math and reading scores in the short term. But in doing so, they sacrifice the type of direct instruction more likely to lead to real learning and long-term retention, critics contend.

"Poor schools tend to gravitate toward remedial applications, whereas better off schools gravitate toward a richer sort of software," says Margaret Honey, director of the Center for Children and Technology in New York. "If our education strategy for poor kids is to do nothing more than remediate them so they'll do better on tests, we're failing them much more dramatically than we have in the past. That's the downside of the tools that are proliferating with great force out there."

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Title Annotation:Technology Update
Publication:Curriculum Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Previous Article:Letting girls in on the game.

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