Policy Issues

5 States Pursue Second Round of Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge

According to the United States Department of Education, all five eligible states have stepped forward to participate in the second round of applications for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, which provides funding for reforms in state early learning programs.

Florida Board of Education Pushes for Elimination of State-Mandated Textbooks

With the proposed change, districts, principals, and teachers would be free to use their own professional judgement in the selection of educational materials, as long as they can demonstrate that students are learning what is required by state standards.

SETDA Launches Online Ed Tech Policy Center

The State Educational Technology Directors Association has launched an online database, the State Education Policy Center, to provide information on technology-related policies.

New Congressional Caucus Focuses on 21st Century Skills Education

Congress has created a new caucus for the purpose of keeping policymakers up to date on the importance of 21st century skills education as students prepare for college and their future careers.

Sequestration: A Mighty Sword

Inaction by Congress and the impending sequestration could have a devastating impact on educational technology funding.

SETDA Updates Strategic Plan, Develops 6 Priorities

Following a year-long process of reviewing the non-profit organization's initiatives, the State Educational Technology Directors Association has released a plan for 2013 to 2016 that includes a new mission statement and vision.

Florida Department of Education Proposes $441.7 Million in New Technology Funding

The Florida Department of Education has made a budget request for more than $440 million in 2013 to pay for computers, broadband connections, and other high tech equipment to ensure the state's public schools are sufficiently equipped for digital learning.

Online Common Core Test Items Released by Smarter Balanced Consortium

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium released a sizable sampling of online assessment items, giving teachers, educational leaders, and members of the public an early look at what kinds of items and tasks will appear on the high-stakes tests that are due to debut in the 2014-2015 school year.

Microsoft Pushes STEM Acceleration Funded by Immigration Revamp

In a wide-ranging push for policy change, Microsoft has taken up the call to increase the number of STEM graduates in the United States over the long haul while also calling for H-1B visa reform to fill a perceived gap of science, technology, engineering, and math talent in the short-term.

Smarter Balanced Leaders Reelected

Three members of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium executive committee have been reelected to their posts, including EC Co-Chair Joseph Martineau, executive director at the Michigan Department of Education's Bureau of Assessment and Accountability.