TechBoston Academy garnered nation attentional this week when the President of the United States made a stop at the small Dorchester, Massachusetts school to give a 20 minute speech on technology and education. The school serves 800 students in grades 6 – 12 from a neighborhood known for crime, poverty and violence.
The point of the president’s visit was to highlight TechBoston Academy’s accomplishments and to say good schools can thrive in tough neighborhoods.
"Students here come from some tough neighborhoods, am I right? Yet the graduation rate is some 20 points higher than the rest of the city. Twenty points higher," President Obama said.
The President continued talking about investing in education that uses technology that can capture the imaginations of students:
"I’m calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," the president continued.
"I wanted to come to TechBoston so the rest of America can see how it’s done. You guys are a model for what’s happening all across the country," he added.
TechBoston is a pilot school within the school district, which means that its administrators have a lot more leeway to change the curriculum or lengthen the school day if they want. The school also has some financial support from foundations and companies such as the Gates Foundation. The Gate Foundation is the reason that the school has such a high level of technology.
The president proposes a $90 million competitive grant program to find new technologies that can improve education. He is also suggesting more federal funds for education and shared responsibility with the private sector.