New ed-tech bill supports digital learning, Common Core

Despite enthusiasm among education groups, the bill likely is a tough sell in a highly partisan Congress locked in a dispute over federal spending.

A new bill calls on Congress to fund $500 million in grants to states and districts for educational technology, and supporters say it could replace the old Enhancing Education Through Technology (E2T2) program, which died in 2011.

The Transforming Education Through Technology Act was introduced by U.S. Rep. George Miller of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

The ed-tech bill is backed by a coalition of national education organizations representing K-12 schools across the United States, including the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE), American Association of School Administrators, Association of Educational Service Agencies, Consortium for School Networking, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), National Rural Education Association, Software and Information Industry Association, and State Educational Technology Directors Association.

In a joint statement, the organizations described the bill as “important legislation [that] will help ensure that all students graduate from high school college and career ready, with a high-quality education enabled by the effective use of technology.”

Specifically, the legislation would support teachers and principals in using technology to increase college and career readiness, close achievement gaps, and engage all students. It encourages the use technology to redesign curriculum to meet Common Core standards, individualize instruction, and increase student engagement. It also supports the training of teachers to incorporate digital learning into the classroom, while using real-time data and assessments to drive instruction.

(Next page: More details about the bill; challenges to its passage)

Meris Stansbury

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