In an effort to strengthen the federal government's after-school tutoring program, known as Supplemental Educational Services, or SES, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) plans to invest $9.5 million in a new test project that will explore the use of mobile devices such as cell phones and other technologies in delivering targeted remediation to struggling students.

Supporters of the project, made possible through a federal Star Schools grant, contend more innovation is necessary to extend the benefits of tutoring services to students in traditionally underserved areas, especially in rural communities, where access to SES--created to help states meet the demands of...

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