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Published: November 7, 2002

Test Scores and Attendance Rates Up This Year in Minority Public Classrooms Thanks To Internet Course


This Comes after announcement that minority students tested three years behind while students in studies.
By Tonie Moses

Just 20 years ago, who would have thought that use of technology in America’s public classrooms would someday become the driving force behind education today? And who would have thought that as a result of integrating technology into course curriculums, students’ achievement scores like math, science, English and overall attendance rates would improve dramatically.

“Students test scores are in and for the fourth consecutive year, students taking the Global Internet Trade Course have actually tested higher on their SAT scores in critical areas like math and English,” said Alfonzo Cliff Webb II.

Webb, an instructor at King Drew Magnet School of Science and Medicine in South Los Angeles, created the Global Internet Trade Course(GITC) along with successful businessman Roosevelt Roby after reading about Roby’s Internet based company The World Business Exchange Network ( in the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

Webb was a technology teacher at Locke Locke High School in the Watts Community at the time he asked Roby to address his students.

“The kids loved him and his program and that is when I realized we can really make this program work in the classroom,” he said. “Since I have been teaching the course students overall course work and attendance rates have increased over the years.”

This innovative technology course was designed to provide at-risk and underprivileged youths K-12 and beyond with opportunities to gain professional experience using the Internet.

They are taught how to employ technology in problem solving situations, and how to communicate ideas effectively while integrating math, geography and language arts into global capitalism. His course was even responsible for turning


Locke High School from among the 100 worst schools to one of the most progressive in the nation.

“I decided to donate my course after speaking to the kids at Locke High School. I was so blown away to see how these kids really took an interest in our global economy, and how international trade works,” said Roby.

The course currently installed in 12 other schools takes students’ out of the text-books and teaches them how to establish and operate their own export business on-line, while cooperatively working in a group. They learn about the importance of world trade on the U.S. and global economy and actually get to visit shipping and other trade sites to enhance their learning experience.

“Taking the Global Internet Trade Course has opened up a window of opportunities for me, because I get to incorporate what I learn at school and actually apply it to working in the real world,” said Johnell Holbert a senior at King Drew Magnet.

Holbert and fellow classmate Albert Holt who now attends U.S.C. recently closed a trade transaction selling pens to foreign countries overseas.

“I was excited because I got the opportunity to close a trade transaction with the support of my classmates, and our hard work paid off,” said Holt.

Holt plans to open his own export business after college said he was grateful to have had the exposure at an early age.

“I got to really see how international trade works, and that is what really got me interested in international business,” he said.

According to recent studies published by the NAACP minority students particularly African-American tested three-years behind white students in critical areas like math, English,and science.

“Today it takes something a little extra to help boost kids and prepare them for the real world,” said Roby.

According to recent studies 85% of high school students taking the GITC scored at or above SAT 9 in reading, up five percent from the previous year. 95% scored at or above average in Math on the SAT 9, up six percent from last year, while 100% of students applied gained acceptance into four-year universities.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke thinks international trade is very important particularly for young people off the Pacific coast.

“By having exposure to International Trade opportunities like the products that are bought into Los Angeles, no matter what, everyone gets excited. In order for minority and low-income children to move into mainstream society they have to have preparation and they have to have it early. It’s particularly important because of competition,” she said.

Los Angeles Unified School District President Caprice Young said that International Trade has made the world a much smaller Place and that Global Trade goes hand in hand.

“Education is about communicating ideas, it’s not just reading and writing; now it’s computers. The goal is to integrate technology into how we learn and how we teach.”

Any funds generated during the course go directly into the schools scholarship program.

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