[ 2006-09-11 08:50 ]
|Students work on their laptops on the first day
of school at the 'School of the Future' in Philadelphia, September
Philadelphia on Thursday opened a public high school
where students work on wireless laptops, teachers eschew traditional
subjects for real-world topics and parents can track their child's work on
Called "The School of the Future" and created with help from software
giant Microsoft, it is believed to be the first in the world to combine
innovative teaching methods with the latest technology.
The school, which cost the school
district $63 million to build, is free and has no entrance
exams. The 170 students in the inaugural ninth-grade class were selected
by lottery from 1,500 applicants.
Three-quarters of the students come from the surrounding West
Philadelphia neighborhood; 95 percent of the students are black, and about
85 percent come from low-income
households , the school district said.
Philadelphia School District Chief Executive Paul Vallas told students
they would be scrutinized by other schools around the world.
"You have become instant role models," Vallas said. "People are going
to be ... watching you."
Student still sit in classrooms, but lessons rely heavily on
information found on the Internet. Students will be allowed to learn at
their own pace. Homework is done on computer and sent to the teacher for
grading and parents can access the school's network to read teacher
feedback on their child's progress.
Traditional education is obsolete and fails to teach students the
skills of problem-solving, critical thinking and effective communication,
which they need to succeed in the 21st century, principal Shirley Grover
said in an interview.
David Terry, 14, said he was hoping to "turn over a new leaf" after
discipline problems in his previous school left him with an "average to
really bad" academic record.
"This is a great opportunity for me," he said. "In other schools, I
would not get this kind of
district : 学区（美国的“学区”又称“地方学区”（Local School
low-income household : 低收入家庭