Five pressing education issues you’ll see in 2014

Below are the five biggest issues that CSG has identified as facing education in 2014.

Technology and digital learning

Used more and more to supplement face-to-face instruction, Goins notes, this will come as no surprise to ed-tech advocates and stakeholders. But the move to a more digital form of learning, the increased prevalence of “bring your own technology” and one-to-one initiatives, and expanded access to mobile devices and apps mean that educational technology remains at the forefront. Accompanying this is the issue of access and ensuring equitable and reliable high-speed internet access for all students in all schools.

K-12 assessment and accountability systems

States are moving to online assessment systems as the Common Core State Standards are implemented, and two assessment consortia–PARCC and Smarter Balanced–aim to create assessments that collect data and enable teachers and administrators to analyze that data for real action.

Early childhood education

More and more research demonstrates links between early childhood education and success in later years. Links also have been made between early childhood education and smaller achievement gaps and fewer disciplinary problems in school and adulthood. Many states are examining whether they have the means to expand early childhood education opportunities and offerings.

College, workforce, and life readiness

One reason stakeholders emphasize the need for students to use technology on a daily basis in school is to help them develop skills that will be valuable in college and the workforce. When students use technology tools, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and more, they are developing the very abilities that will help ensure success in college or in global, high-competition careers.

Degree attainment and college completion

More and more, state policymakers have focused on college attendance and completion in efforts to demonstrate how important higher-order skills and knowledge are to the workforce. Setting goals to ensure that more students enroll in and complete college will be one of the most important issues of 2014.

Laura Ascione

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