During the past five years, St. Lucie County, Fla., public schools have been upgraded with the latest technology — and according to a study released July 13, the upgrades, which included a $20 million technology overhaul, have helped increase student achievement and the school district’s grade, reports the Fort Pierce Tribune. The school district worked in partnership with education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and started using the company’s "technology solutions-based curriculum" to help engage students and make lessons more interactive. The district and publisher jointly worked on the study, which also showed a connection between the instructional time spent using interactive lessons and student achievement. "It’s all a coordinated, focused plan to get to a world-class final product of our students reaching their goals, our community having the economic development we need, and our teachers having the tools, training, inspiration, and support to lead the way," Superintendent Michael Lannon said. To make technology more accessible, the district also worked with Dell and the Panasonic Foundation and provided teachers with additional training. Teachers use video and high-tech equipment to enhance their lessons. In 2003, the district received a C grade from the state, based largely on student scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. This year, the district was 19 points shy of earning an A…

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