In 1989, the schools in Union City, N.J., an impoverished Cuban enclave along the Hudson River across from Manhattan, were among the nation's worst. They received failing marks in 44 of the 52 categories New Jersey used to assess schools, and state officials warned they would seize control if Union City didn't shape up. The threat prompted many changes in Union City, including a technological transformation of its entire educational system. Aided by Bell Atlantic Corp., officials equipped the schools and students' homes with a network of computers, creating "one of the most, if not the most, wired urban school district in the U.S.," says Margaret Honey, director of the Center for Children & Technology in New York City.
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