Page 19 - THE Journal, October 2017
P. 19

Joshua Bolkan
Home Connectivity
and the Homework Gap
Is the internet destined to become just another wedge Npushing the achievement gap wider?
EARLY ONE IN FIVE, 17.5 percent, of homes with school-aged children does not have access to broadband, according to the Pew Research Center. Those numbers get starker when looking at kids from less economically privileged homes
— 31.4 percent of households making under $50,000 a year and 39.7 percent in homes taking in less than $25,000 — or students of different racial
backgrounds, with black and Hispanic families with school-aged children having no access to broadband at rates of about 39 percent and 37 percent, respectively.
With such disparity in home broadband access, is the internet destined to become just another wedge pushing the achievement gap wider?
Partnerships with
the Private Sector
At California’s Pomona Unified School District, a partnership with Sprint is beginning to offer a hopeful answer to that question.
“As you can imagine, these hotspots are a pretty effective bridge, very effective as a matter of fact, for mitigating this digital divide,” said Oliver Unaka, public information officer at Pomona USD.
With 24,000 students, approximately 82 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced lunch, Pomona is currently at the beginning of a 1-to-1 Chromebook rollout. The district also has its
share of economic inequity, drawing students from parts of Diamond Bar,
OCTOBER 2017 | 19
Nestor Rizhniak/

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