News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

Laptops Give 8th Graders No Boost on Maine Test

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For the sixth consecutive year, scores for Maine's 8th graders have hardly budged on the state's educational assessment.

Those results have some critics questioning whether the state's 2-year-old initiative to put laptops into the hands of every 7th and 8th grader has been worth the $15 million it has cost.

Maine's 8th graders, who have used the laptops for three semesters, improved slightly in mathematics in 2004 compared with a year earlier, but not in writing, the results released in August showed. Reading scores dropped slightly, while science scores were unchanged.

Defenders of the program say it will take more time for the impact of laptops to show up in school performance.

Vol. 24, Issue 02, Page 30

Published in Print: September 8, 2004, as Laptops Give 8th Graders No Boost on Maine Test

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