I remember when State Education Agencies (SEAs) primarily focused on compliance. However, with the U.S. Department of Education taking a step back from leading on educational initiatives, more and more we’re seeing SEAs working harder than ever to ensure all students have access to quality education.

As I attend conferences and follow the advocacy efforts and publications of organizations that support state education leaders such as the Council of Chief State School Officers, State Educational Technology Directors Association, and the National Association of State Boards of Education, I see common problems of practice on the minds of state education leaders.

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5 common insights from state education leaders

Equitable scalability – When SEAs have educational initiatives they need to implement, the challenge they face is how to scale the initiative to all school districts with fidelity and equity. States face the challenge of respecting local control and leadership of county and district offices AND ensuring that all students across the state have access to quality content, instruction, and the tools they need to be successful. While purchasing decisions still largely remain at the district level, we do see some states purchasing systems for statewide use as a foundation for the other tools districts need to layer on top. These state level purchases may include anything from Student Information Systems (SIS), Learning Management Systems (LMS), Assessment Management Systems (AMS), to Learning Object Repositories. States are often looking for best-of-breed in each system, rather than all in one packages, making open systems and interoperability critical.

About the Author:

Dr. Tracy Weeks is the Executive Director of K12 Strategy for Instructure. Tracy has been an educator for over 24 years, with 20 of those years in educational technology. She has held national, state, district, and school level leadership positions. At the heart of each of those roles, has been the design of learning experiences that leveraged digital tools, resources, and applications to transform teaching and learning.


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