A Laptop for Every Kid

More schools are convinced they're worth the cost

Carmen Arace Middle School is situated in the pastoral town of Bloomfield, Conn., but four years ago it faced many of the same challenges as inner-city schools in nearby Hartford: low scores on standardized tests, dropping enrollment and high rates of detention. Then the school's hard-driving principal, Delores Bolton, persuaded her board to shake up the place by buying a laptop computer for each student and teacher to use, in school and at home. For good measure, the board provided wireless Internet access at school. Total cost: $2.5 million.

Now, an hour before classes start, every seat in the library is...

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