AP NEWS

Grant to help upgrade technology in Detroit’s public schools

December 22, 2019 GMT

DETROIT (AP) — A philanthropic group has awarded $5.9 million to help upgrade outdated or non-existent technology infrastructure in Detroit’s public schools.

The grant from the Ballmer Group will support the continued development of a data system designed to make student performance information available to school leaders, teachers, parents and students, according to the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Users will have online access to instructional materials and data. Staff, district partners and outside mentors seeking to access student data must be cleared for privacy protections.

The 50,000-student district says staff will use the system for professional development and workflow to improve department and school level systems and processes.

“This grant will yield a dramatic return on investment because it will empower school leaders, teachers, staff, community and parents to have immediate and easy access to student data related to attendance, discipline and performance to problem solve and provide the right support for our children,” district Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said.

The Bellevue, Washington-based Ballmer Group was founded by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie. It supports community partnerships among public, private, and nonprofit organizations that use data to more effectively serve families.

“Investing in data and technology is critical for nonprofits and government services working to improve the lives of children and families,” said Kylee Mitchell Wells, Ballmer Group executive director for Southeast Michigan.