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How Charter Schools Can Use Low-Cost Internet to Bridge the Achievement Gap

This article was published on:
January 23, 2024

Charter schools were established with the intention of ushering in innovation and flexibility into the education system. However, if you looked at data from 2009, you’d think that charter schools were failing to deliver on this promise. But things have changed for the positive – dramatically.

A charter school graduate wearing a green cap and gown holds a sign that says “senior” as she smiles for her post-graduation picture.

A recent study conducted by Stanford University finds that students at charter schools, on average, are learning more than their counterparts at traditional local public schools, thereby lowering the achievement gap for students. This is perhaps one of the most applause-worthy result of the excellent performance charter schools have demonstrated.

While charter schools have implemented steps such as longer class hours and establishing a “no excuses” policy, there is another thing they could do to ensure better results for their students and communities – implement affordable Internet access.

Deploying Low-Cost Internet is a Multi-Pronged Strategy for Charter Schools to Bridge the Achievement Gap

A group of students in one of the charter schools are shown sitting at a long table. They are all engrossed in a written or drawing exercise. In the foreground, there is a Black child wearing glasses who is looking at their book and seems to be reading something. They are also holding a pen in their hand, ready to write.

Out of the 3.7 million students in the U.S. who attend charter schools, a majority are Black and Hispanic. Narrowing the achievement gap at school is the most impactful way to ensure social mobility and equity. Here are some specific ways in which low-cost Internet can help charter schools advance their mission of education equity.

1. Equalizing Access to Educational Resources:
According to data shared by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), nearly 17 million school children lack Internet access at home. Not only does this create an unfair homework gap between students who have the Internet and those who don’t but it also limits access to educational resources for those that are underserved.

Low-cost Internet levels the playing field. From online textbooks to interactive learning platforms, this simple technological intervention enables every student to explore educational possibilities.

Several schools have utilized Mobile Citizen’s low-cost Wi-Fi hotspots to provide Internet access for students – at school and at home. Your school can establish a lending program that enables students to check out mobile hotspots for use in their homes. This helps them get over the homework gap while also equipping them to explore a world of possibilities and advancement opportunities.

2. Enhancing Remote Learning Opportunities and Delivering Personalized Education:
At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we all learned some hard lessons. One of them was the need to make information and education more accessible.

By distributing low-cost Internet devices to students, charter schools can ensure that students, irrespective of their health, geographical, or financial limitations, have the ability to attend class and participate in activities. Low-cost Internet access makes charter schools more inclusive and diverse.

3. Establishing Tech-Ready Skills for a Future Workforce:
It’s no surprise that digital skills are consistently listed as one of the most important requirements for the future workforce. In fact, a joint study conducted by the National Skills Coalition and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta found that 92% of jobs analyzed in the study need digital skills. On the other hand, previous data found that one-third of workers don’t have these skills.

In the future, digital skills will become non-negotiable. Low-cost Internet is a vehicle for teaching essential digital skills, ensuring that students and their families are not just consumers of technology but active contributors to the digital landscape.

4. Encouraging Collaboration and Development:
Access to low-cost Internet not only furthers educational and learning opportunities but also helps with collaboration and overall development of students. Charter schools can extend their hotspot lending programs to teachers and other staff members to encourage a more communicative, collaborative, research-led approach to teaching.

Low-cost Internet also facilitates greater parental involvement in a child’s education. From virtual parent-teacher meetings to online progress tracking, this connectivity empowers parents to actively participate in their child’s learning journey, fostering a collaborative environment that extends beyond the school walls.

Empower Tomorrow Today With Low-Cost Internet for Charter Schools From Mobile Citizen

As charter schools begin to find a way to deliver on their promise of education equity, it is an excellent idea to consider ways in which they can propel their mission. Low-cost, reliable Internet from Mobile Citizen is one way to do just that.

See how several schools and educational institutions have partnered with us to further their mission and check out our simple eligibility criteria.

The deployment of low-cost Internet is a testament to charter schools’ commitment to inclusivity, collaboration, and the collective pursuit of narrowing the achievement gap.