Madison: Survey shows 88 percent of students do not have Internet access

Many school districts are working working to provide every student with a technology device when needed – but what if students don’t have Internet access to utilize these devices from home?

On examples of this challenge is playing out in Madison, Wisconsin. A Tableau survey of over 27,000 students found that around 88 percent of students in the Madison Metropolis School District do not have access to the Internet.

Of the elementary through high school surveyed, 97 percent of white students and 93 percent of Asian students have access to the Internet – but only 74 percent of African American students and 79 percent of Hispanic students have access.

Similarly, 78 percent of low-income students have access to the Internet, compared with 98 percent of students that did not fall into the low-income category.

The school is hoping to improve the equity of access for all students.

I think it’s really important to remember that not all students are fortunate enough to have access to the Internet. Providing technology devices is a great start and I think it’s terrific that Madison Metropolis School District is able to do this for its students. However, if not everyone has the ability to get online from home, it hinders the potential good of the devices.

It sounds like Madison needs to make sure students without Internet access at home can find locations to take advantage of their devices, such as ensuring the school campus has open Wi-Fi. I hope that we can find ways to overcome the issue in Madison and other school districts out there facing the same challenges in an effort to keep minority and low-income students from falling further behind their peers.

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