Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho visited the White House today at the invitation of President Barack Obama, along with other important education leaders, to discuss the transition to digital learning as part of the President’s ConnectED Initiative. He was selected to introduce the President due to his leadership and successful digital transformation in one of the nation’s largest school districts.
“Two years ago, we began our digital convergence to fundamentally transform the structure and environment of education in our district,” said Superintendent Carvalho during the introduction of President Obama. “To address our infrastructure needs, we raised $7 million in leveraged federal funds to outfit 350 schools with universal Wi-Fi access, which we completed this past August. That is 45 million square feet of space right now under a powerful umbrella of broadband access.”
“We knew that we had to find a way to get internet into children’s homes. Seventy-four percent of our children live at or below the poverty level,” added Superintendent Carvalho. “In the hyper-connected society as we know it today, the digitally disconnected are initially at an educational disadvantage, and over time at an economic deficit. Limiting learning, instruction and education to the bell schedule in school was not sufficient.”
Carvalho spearheaded a $1.2 billion General Obligation Bond that was overwhelmingly approved by Miami-Dade voters. The bond is being used to provide technology upgrades at all schools and the installation of new wireless infrastructure. These upgrades are a full four years ahead of the President’s goal that all schools be digital by 2018. The bond is also being used to modernize and construct school buildings throughout the district, expand student capacity, and enhance facility safety.