Senate Considers ATTAIN Bill
The United States Senate late last week introduced S. 1996, its version of ATTAIN (Achievement Through Technology and Innovation), a bill to reauthorize the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) Act of 2001. ATTAIN was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives back in May.
The idea behind ATTAIN is to revamp Part D of title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to enhance professional development for teachers, improve technical proficiency in students, and otherwise support technology in various ways to advance student achievement. Introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM) and co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Burr (NC) and Patty Murray (WA), the bill was developed with input from three major ed tech groups, including the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), as well as the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and other stakeholders.
"There are systemic reform models that are working to improve student achievement and teacher quality in schools today." Educational technology implementations have been key in yielding these substantial academic gains; now, this legislation will serve as a catalyst for more states to bring these proven programs to scale," said Mary Ann Wolf, executive director of the SETDA. "The Senate and House ATTAIN Acts both focus on research-based, systemic reform approaches that maximize the benefits of technology as we work to build a competitive, productive and creative workforce."
Wolf was joined by representatives of other education and technology groups in expressing support for the measure, including ISTE, CoSN, and the SIIA.
Aside from reauthorizing EETT, ATTAIN also seeks to boost funding for teacher professional development by increasing the portion of formula-grants set aside for professional development from 25 percent to 40 percent; to help impoverished or underperforming districts by prioritizing grants for those districts; and to target 40 percent of competitive grant funds for "systemic school reform built around the use of technology to redesign curriculum, instruction, assessment, and data use."
The Senate version of ATTAIN has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. The text of the bill, as of this writing, is not available yet through the Library of Congress. However, it can be downloaded in PDF form from SETDA's site at the link below.
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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at [email protected]
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