One of the many ways No Child Left Behind supports school choice and provides resources to help improve student achievement is through the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP), which provides three-year grants to eligible school districts to establish and operate magnet schools. The following are excerpts from an article in The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch highlighting yesterdays announcement of the MSAP grant awarded to the St. Louis Public Schools:
"The St. Louis Public Schools will use an $8.4 million grant to make significant changes at a dozen elementary schools. The hope is that the improvements will help stem the district's declining enrollment. The money will go toward creating a group of schools that offer the same computer-based learning program. The program has already been successful in at least one district school."
"This grant is going to do a lot to transform our schools into outstanding learning communities, Interim Superintendent Floyd Crues said at a news conference."
"In this latest move, the model is Peabody Elementary, where the installation of a computer-program called eMINTS - which stands for Enhancing Missouri's Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies - coincided with a dramatic improvement in test scores. In the eMINTS program, pupils use the Internet to explore questions posed during their lessons. For instance, in a lesson on electricity, pupils might visit sites bookmarked by their teacher on Thomas Edison. There also are sites designed specifically for eMINTS. Oh, the kids love it, Peabody teacher Kathleen Hill said."
"The program appealed to the U.S. Department of Education, in part because of its connection to school choice. Pupils in St. Louis schools that do not meet federal standards will be able [to] transfer to the schools with the new technology component."
"Michael J. Petrilli, an associate deputy undersecretary in the department, attended a ceremony Monday at Peabody. He said the grant will help St. Louis to meet the promise of the No Child Left Behind Act, the cornerstone of President George W. Bushs education plan. Its not just a slogan, Petrilli said."
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