Artificial Intelligence

El Segundo Unified School District to Establish AI Policy Lab

In partnership with the EdSAFE AI Alliance, El Segundo (California) Unified School District (ESUSD) has announced it will establish an AI Policy Lab to promote the safe and ethical use of AI in its K–12 schools.

This is part of a nationwide effort of school districts to commit to similar policy initiatives. The national network, led by the Alliance under the auspices of InnovateEDU and New York City Public Schools, focuses on the challenges and opportunities of using AI in school settings, to "solve the real-time problem of rapid adoption of AI in education, building and iterating timely policymaking as a continuous support structure to districts, schools, students, and families," the Alliance said in a release about the launch of the policy lab.

The Alliance follows the S.A.F.E. (Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Efficacy) Benchmarks Framework, including recommendations from the global Software and Information Industry Association, to help "clarify the urgency and specific areas of need to prevent failures in data management that compromise the potential for how responsible AI can be a lever for equity for educators and learners alike," according to the organization website.

The Alliance network currently has 12 district members across the U.S. who are developing a "policy stack" that includes AI use policies, consent from and communication with families policies, and school district professional development resources.

The ESUSD AI Policy Lab will provide the district with collaborative recommendations and resources for teachers, students, and parents and will update policies as needed to align with practices enhancing the engagement of students, parents, and the community.

"Our AI policy initiative underscores our dedication to integrating AI in a manner that prioritizes our values," said Melissa Moore, ESUSD superintendent. "We aim to incorporate a wide array of perspectives in this process, including those of policy-makers, industry experts, educators, students, and families, to collaboratively develop AI strategies and policies that resonate with our community's unique needs and principles."

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.