Technology Education Coming to a Halt
Imagine this scenario:
today’s students, for whom multimedia
technologies have always been an integral part of learning,
are suddenly denied modern education tools. In addition, training
for teachers to use these tools comes to a complete halt. Are
these students going to be prepared to succeed in the 21st
This scenario is not
so far fetched when you consider President Bush’s proposed
2006 education agenda. In terms of technology, he proposed
the complete elimination of Enhancing Education Through Technology
(EETT), a $500 million state education technology block grant.
EETT is the only source of federal funding targeted for education
technology and it is not just limited to hardware and infrastructure.
It provides funding that supports all tenets of education
by providing technology that allows for innovative and motivating
student instruction, advanced assessment and accountability,
online professional development, virtual education and enhanced
data driven decision making.
This is a call to action.
It’s the job of educators,
administrators and parents to let Congress know through letters
and emails that this is not acceptable for America’s
students—they deserve to be equipped to compete and succeed
in the 21st century.
In New York City alone,
the elimination of this critical program would mean the elimination
of $45 million in funding for technology targeted toward
closing the achievement gap for some of America’s
neediest students. This funding has allowed many of New York
City’s high schools to no longer be limited by time and
space and instead to create a 24/7 learning environment. For
one New York region, elimination of the state education tech
block grant would mean the loss of the Cyber English, Cyber
Social Studies and soon to be Cyber Math and Science classes
that are running in all twenty public high schools and two
local nonpublic high schools.
In early March, the State Educational Technology Directors
Association (SETDA) will release its 2005 National Trends
Report, a study of the education technology block grant
funding and uses. State technology directors are reporting
three critical uses of technology that advance NCLB goals including
the informed use of digital tools, the alignment of software,
web courses, virtual learning, and other technology-based learning
solutions to increase academic achievement; and the use of
real-time data and the informed use of data to drive sound
instructional decisions. Nearly a quarter of the states report
that the federal education technology block grant funds are
the only source of funds that go to Local Education Agencies
individual voice will make a difference. The time is now.
Tell Congress to reject the President’s proposed elimination
of the state education technology block grant.#
Melinda George is the Executive
Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association