'Digital Divide' Makes It Harder For Low-Income, Minority Students To Do Homework

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 2:21pm
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 3:25pm
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Nearly 20 percent of teenagers surveyed across the country recently said they sometimes could not finish their homework because they didn’t have a good enough internet connection at home.

The data from the Pew Research Center is the latest to look at what’s called the "digital divide." Monica Anderson is a senior researcher at Pew and said the numbers are even worse when you break them down by race.

In the survey, 25 percent of black teens say they are at least sometimes unable to complete their homework because they don’t have reliable access to a computer or internet at home. But for white teens, that share is just about 13 percent and about 17 percent for Hispanics.

Anderson said the breakdown is similar based on income, with lower-income teens more likely to report having problems finishing their homework because of their web connection. But she said the problem is not limited to students.

"It is true we’ve seen a lot of the gaps narrow over time, but there are still these persistent differences based around income, age and race," she said. "So, a lot of the differences that we see within the teen population really echo what’s going on in the overall adult population."

The Pew survey looked at teens nationwide, but we wanted to get a sense of the situation here in Arizona. So, The Show reached out to Stefan Swiat with the Arizona Department of Education.

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