ISBE Chair says state needs to bridge the digital divide in schools

Oct 30, 2013

The chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education says Illinois needs to immediately address the digital divide in the state’s schools, and it’s not just about learning. 

Gery Chico says schools are not technologically prepared to give new standardized state tests Illinois is rolling out next school year. The new tests are designed to be given by computer and will replace the current pencil-and-paper ISAT exams.

"If online testing occurred today, only 26 percent of the Illinois students that we looked at would be able to complete it."

Chico is proposing a $250-million-dollar “Illinois Schools Technology Fund” to get schools wired and buy computers. He’s suggesting most of the money could come from unspent school construction dollars.