Jahiem Johnson, 13, left, helps classmate Kamya Saunders, 13, as they work on an English passage during class at the Washington Leadership Academy in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.(AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
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The use of technology in schools is part of a broader concept of personalized learning that has been gaining popularity in recent years.Under the Obama administration, the Education Department poured $500 million into personalized learning programs in 68 school districts serving close to a half million students in 13 states plus the District of Columbia. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning estimates that up to 10 percent of all America's public schools have adopted some form of personalized learning. At Washington Leadership Academy, educators rely on software and data to track student progress and adapt teaching to enable students to master topics at their own speed.Based on a national assessment last year, the school ranked in the 96th percentile for improvement in math and in the 99th percentile in reading compared with schools whose students scored similarly at the beginning of the year.Her math teacher, Britney Wray, says that in her previous school she was torn between advanced learners and those who lagged significantly. She says often she wouldn't know if a student was failing a specific unit until she started a new one.
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