That District 97 would invest a daunting chunk of the cash voters recently OK’d via referendum in a sophisticated technology tool aimed at boosting the performance of struggling students is a surprise to whom exactly?

The district was clear all through the election season that it sees technology in instruction as a key to improving student performance. That makes sense to us.

Sure, 77,000 in upfront costs and another 5,000 in annual upgrade costs for the Fast ForWord software package is near to staggering. Unless it works. Unless it works as promised by Supt. Albert Roberts. Seldom have we seen a top appointed official put so much political capital on the line as Roberts has in pushing very hard for this purchase against worries from some board members, doubts from some parents, and sincere pushback from some teachers who have worked on a pilot version of this program.

Now we will find out if he made the right choice. We believe Roberts has earned the support his board gave him last week with its 6-1 vote.

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