In an era of chronic ear infections, widespread iPod use, and rampant attention-deficit disorders, school officials have embraced the use of sound amplification systems for mainstream classrooms, pointing to research suggesting that all children learn better when they hear instruction loud and clear, the New York Times reports. A handful of school districts, including those in West Orange, N.J., and Ann Arbor, Mich., are putting amplification in every classroom, while scores of others are requiring the systems in elementary schools. This year, the Seattle district is spending $1.5 million to outfit 1,200 elementary classrooms, and 125 libraries and gyms, with microphones and speakers. The Ohio School Facilities Commission requires all new buildings and renovations financed with state aid to be wired for amplification, and many schools built in Florida and Michigan over the past few years also have the technology…

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