Those competitive grants would be awarded based on a number of priorities, including student advancement and graduation being based on learning outcomes instead of seat time, students having access to high-quality digital content and online courses without arbitrary enrollment caps, and whether teacher certification or licensure requires teachers to be technologically literate.
If available funding is more than $300 million, ATTAIN funds would be awarded to states based on student poverty rates.
The groups also urged lawmakers to consider the “meaningful infusion of technology throughout the reauthorization of the [Elementary and Secondary Education Act].”
The 11 education and ed-tech groups include the Alliance for Excellent Education, the American Association of School Administrators, the Association of Education Service Agencies, the Consortium for School Networking, the International Society for Technology in Education, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Education Association, the National Rural Education Association, the National Rural Education Advocacy Coalition, the Software & Information Industry Association, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association.
Also targeting technology knowledge, and aiming to update portions of ESEA, is the 21st-Century Readiness Act, introduced by Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.
The act aims to enhance the use of federal funds to help states and school districts better prepare students for college and career success, and it would accomplish those goals by ensuring that high-quality and relevant standards, assessments, and professional development programs are linked to the content and skills that today’s students need to succeed in the 21st century.