Four Partnerships Get $14.8 Million For 'Star Schools'
Washington--The Education Department last week awarded $14.8 million in "Star Schools" grants to four regional consortia to expand educational opportunities for disadvantaged students through the use of telecommunications.
The partnerships will design high-technology teaching networks to improve courses in mathematics, science, and foreign languages for students and teachers. Funding is for the first year of a two-year project.
"For many reasons ... individual schools may not offer such subjects as physics, calculus, or Japanese," Christopher T. Cross, the department's assistant secretary for educational research and improvement, said in a statement announcing the awards. "Through telecommunications technology more students and more teachers will have access to a full curriculum."
In the first round of grants under the initiative, the department awarded $33.6 million to Star Schools projects in 1988 and 1989.
The new grants initially are expected to assist poor, rural, and isolated students and teachers in 27 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and the Trust Territories of the Pacific. Later, the services will be expanded to all states.
One-half of the schools benefiting from the grants must teach disadvantaged students under Chapter 1.
The recipients and amounts are:
The Central Education Telecommunications Consortium, based at the Black College Satellite Network, Washington; $1.4 million. The grant will go toward developing minority role models for students pursuing careers in math and science, and toward building partnerships with historically black colleges and universities, school systems, and community groups. The project will focus on math, science, Chinese, Swahili, and Arabic and include states from Texas to Florida to Pennsylvania.
The Pacific Northwest Educational Telecommunications Partnership, based at the Washington Educational Service District 101, Spokane, Wash.; $5.05 million. Chapter 1 and migrant students in the Northwest and the Pacific territories will get special instruction in math, science, and languages under this grant.
Reach for the Stars, based at the Massachusetts Corporation for Educational Telecommunications, Cambridge, Mass.; $4.91 million. Using satellites, microcomputers, and videodisks, this partnership in the Northeast will use community-based science resources to create hands-on science training that incorporates other areas of learning.
Telecommunications Education for Advances in Mathematics and Science Education, based at the Los Angeles County office of education; $3.45 million. This is the first Star Schools project developed for large urban districts. In grades 4 and 5, it will focus on science and technology instruction; multicultural mathematics and problem solving will be the emphases for grades 7 to 10; and student-to-student teleconferences and career exploration will be highlighted for grades 7 to 12.
Each partnership is required to contribute at least 25 percent in additional funds to its project.--mp