The N&R reports the Guilford County Board of Education voted 4-3 (there were four absences) to ask the federal government to supply digital tablets to three middle schools in addition to the 16 randomly selected as part of the system’s $30 million federal grant:

Random selection is considered the gold standard of education research, according to officials.

“We submitted the grant on a random model,” said Terrence Young, the district’s chief information officer. “If we go back and choose schools, we need to inform them we are choosing schools.”

The district randomly selected the following schools to get the tablets first: Allen, Aycock, Ferndale, Guilford, Hairston, High School Ahead, Jamestown, Johnson Street, Kernodle, Mendenhall, Northeast, Northern, Northwest, Penn-Griffin, Southeast and Southwest.

No doubt the schools are selected at random in order to provide an unbiased picture of whether or not the tablets will truly improve middle school performance, as GCS claimed in its grant proposal.