SREB Reports and Information
“SREB Reports Track State Legislature Actions on Education, 2013”
SREB, September 8, 2013
- How did state legislatures address education this year? Legislative and budget actions that affect public education in the 16 Southern Regional Educational Board states are summarized in two SREB reports.
- By State: For a state-by-state summary of final actions, see SREB’s 2013 Legislative Report.
- By Topic: For a roundup by education issue, see SREB’s 2013 Legislative Briefing.
- Challenge 2020 updates the region’s common goals for 2013 and beyond. The six goals reframe the 12 earlier goals, with several differences. They are organized concisely by a student’s age or point in the education pipeline, so state leaders can focus on each student’s full educational career and the critical transitions from one stage to the next. They also call for states to focus attention and state support on both the outcome measures (student achievement results, graduation rates) and the policies that will get tangible results.
- SREB’s extensive reporting of each state’s progress on the goals show how far the region came from 2002 to 2012. These reports are linked from this page.
- SREB provides extensive information to assist education leaders and lawmakers in all 16-member states as they shape public policy in K-20 education. SREB’s Education Policies team continually tracks trends and analyzes the progress of all 16-member states in every area addressed in the SREB Challenge to Lead goals.
“Learning Technology Advisory Committee”
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
- The Learning Technology Advisory Committee (LTAC), formerly the Distance Education Advisory Committee, engages in substantive policy research and discussion dealing with the increasingly important role that learning technology plays in Texas higher education. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recognizes the important role that distance education and computer-assisted instruction, including e-learning tools such as electronic textbooks and open course materials, plays in helping the state reach the goals of Closing the Gaps by 2015.
Organizations that Track Education Policies
State Education Policy Center
State Educational Technology Directors Association
- Launched in October 2012, the State Education Policy Center (SEPC) is a database of state policies related to education and technology curated by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and its membership. The SEPC is intended to provide up-to-date information regarding select technology-related education policies and practices to inform school reform and improvement efforts. The aggregation of these state policies is unique and will benefit state, federal and local policy-makers, researchers, private sector (corporate and philanthropic) investors, and practitioners. As policies and practices evolve over time, these changes will be reflected in the SEPC. In all cases, content will be verified and maintained by SETDA and its members. In addition to background information on each state, at launch the SEPC focuses on three topics:
- K-12 broadband policy and practice
- Online student assessment (formative and summative) policy and practice
- Instructional materials policy and practice (with an emphasis on digital and open content)
- Here is more information on SEPC provided by SEDTA.
- The mission of the Education Policy Institute (EPI) is to expand educational opportunity for low-income and other historically underrepresented students through high-level research and analysis. By providing educational leaders and policy-makers with the information required to make prudent programmatic and policy decisions, EPI believes that the doors of opportunity can be further opened for all students, resulting in an increase in the number of students prepared for, enrolled in, and completing postsecondary education.
- The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. It is guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.
“Educational Technology in K-12″
Education Commission of the States
- This Education Commission of the States (ECS) Issue Site is designed to address questions about educational technology as K-12 schools struggle to implement effective, sustainable systems that complement their curricula. The Access/Equity section speaks to the geographical and socioeconomic gaps in technology access. The Finance section offers research on how states are investing in technology and features strategies for business and community involvement. The Infrastructure section outlines best practice models and suggestions for planning education technology systems. The Instruction section addresses the use of technology specifically as a learning tool and provides examples of Web-based courses and teaching strategies. Finally, the Teacher/Faculty Training section outlines the programs available for training teachers and administrators, as well as examining the current needs and requirements for ensuring schools can make the best use of new technologies. All of the sections include links to the best resources the Internet has to offer for teachers, administrators and policymakers.
- See also the sub-issues on Devices/Software/Hardware, Equitable Access and Internet Safety.
Postsecondary Online Instruction
Education Commission of the States
- This section provides links to a database of state activities, selected research and reading and other suggested websites.
“Technology and Digital Learning”
National Conference of State Legislatures
- Advancements in technology and productivity over the last decade demand new ways of integrating current and future technological innovations into public education. Policymakers are working to provide all students with high quality learning options, regardless of where they live or what school they attend. The expansion of digital and online learning can begin to alleviate inequalities that currently exist between students who have access to high quality teachers and a diverse array of courses and those who lack such access because their schools struggle to attract talent or lack the resources to provide a variety of options.
Educational Technology Policy Papers
Financing Online Education and Virtual Schooling: A Guide for Policymakers and Advocates
Bruce D. Baker and Justin Bathon, National Education Policy Center, October 15, 2013
- This policy brief addresses considerations for state and local policymakers as they decide whether and how to finance supplemental online education alternatives and/or full-time virtual schools. The authors begin with a discussion of the sparse and inconsistent literature regarding the financing of new online models, and then present empirical illustrations for determining costs. They start with a top-down example, isolating typical cost components of brick-and-mortar schooling and then matching them to cost components of virtual models considered all-inclusive (although they typically provide far fewer services than their traditional counterparts). They offer an alternative cost analysis framework that can be used to add individual cost components in order to calculate total overall costs for virtual schools. After discussing general analytic issues that policymakers should consider as they develop finance policy, they offer model legislation for a uniform financing and accountability policy applicable to both supplemental and full-time online education.
Data-Driven Improvement and Accountability
Andy Hargreaves, Henry Braun, Kathleen Gebhardt, National Education Policy Center, October 22, 2013
- This brief examines policies and practices concerning the use of data to inform school improvement strategies and to provide information for accountability. This twin-pronged movement, termed Data-Driven Improvement and Accountability (DDIA), can lead either to greater quality, equity and integrity, or to deterioration of services and distraction from core purposes. The question addressed by this brief is what factors and forces can lead DDIA to generate more positive and fewer negative outcomes in relation to both improvement and accountability.
- The policy brief concludes with 12 recommendations for establishing more effective and productive systems and processes, derived from its analysis of the relevant research. A report containing model legislation follows, detailing a legal structure that would use data effectively to create a multi-level system of accountability designed for school improvement.
“Talking about the Facts of Education Data with Policymakers”
Data Quality Campaign
- The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) prepared this document to help its state and national partners respond accurately to policymakers who have questions about education data.
“National Education Technology Plan 2010”
U. S. Department of Education
- The National Education Technology Plan, Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology, calls for applying the advanced technologies used in our daily personal and professional lives to our entire education system to improve student learning, accelerate and scale up the adoption of effective practices, and use data and information for continuous improvement.
- It presents five goals with recommendations for states, districts, the federal government, and other stakeholders. Each goal addresses one of the five essential components of learning powered by technology: Learning, Assessment, Teaching, Infrastructure, and Productivity.
“CoSN Refreshes Acceptable Use Policy Guide for School Districts”
Consortium for School Networking
- The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has issued a refreshed acceptable use policy (AUP) guide, titled Rethinking Acceptable Use Policies to Enable Digital Learning: A Guide for School Districts. Designed to help school system leaders rethink today’s digital media landscape, the updated resource tackles key questions and offers effective solutions to help districts update their AUPs. The guide is provided through CoSN’s Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership and & Policy initiative.
- State leaders need to create an explicit framework for a comprehensive system in legislation and state school board regulation represented by the following core elements, drawn from research about linkages among policy, teacher professional learning, and student learning. These elements were tested by Learning Forward as part of its Transforming Professional Learning to Prepare College- and Career-Ready Students: Implementing the Common Core initiative, the source of information for this brief.
- This is key lesson number eight in the series presented here: Intelligent application of technology increases efficiency, effectiveness, and equitable access to professional learning and instructional supports for increased educator effectiveness and student learning.