SOURCE: SETDA

February 05, 2007 17:44 ET

Proven NCLB Program That Improves Student Achievement Zeroed Out in President's Proposed Budget

Despite Its Focus on Competitiveness, the Bush Administration Eliminates Education Technology Funding -- Limiting Schools' Ability to Modernize & Address the Needs of Today's Students

ARLINGTON, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 5, 2007 --The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) continues to be dismayed at President Bush's justification for eliminating the only federal dedicated educational technology funding, NCLB Title II, Part D (EETT), despite rhetoric around America's Competitiveness and Innovation. Stating that "the job is done" and that other funding is available for technology purchases, the President displays his lack of understanding for the critical need for systemic change to modernize America's schools for the 21st Century -- a task that cannot be accomplished without the leadership and careful planning to maximize the potential of technology.

This also appears to contradict the U.S. Department of Education's Reauthorization focus. Secretary Spellings, in sharing the Department's NCLB Reauthorization recommendations on January 24, 2007, stated that America has an opportunity to change America's schools. She said, "If we let this opportunity pass us by, the loss will be felt greatest by our nation's young people -- the very individuals we will be counting on to keep America globally competitive and nationally secure. Congress has the ability right now to put more effective tools in the hands of school districts to impact student achievement." Educational technology tools are key to making this happen.

Mary Ann Wolf, SETDA's Executive Director, stated that, "EETT has demonstrated results of innovative teaching approaches using technology that are proven and effective strategies to improve student achievement -- yet the program is slated for elimination in the President's 2008 proposed budget. Appropriate uses of technology have revolutionized the global marketplace -- how can we ignore the same innovative approaches as we seek to modernize education and engage the 21st Century student? EETT provides states with targeted resources to systemically change education -- to dramatically increase the effectiveness of teachers, improve student achievement, and ensure that students have access to rigorous and innovation-inspiring learning."

The following EETT funded programs demonstrate its positive impact on education and the opportunity for replication across states:

--  In Utah, Missouri, and Maine, the eMINTS program provides schools and
    teachers with educational technology tools, curriculum, and over 200 hours
    of professional development to change how teachers teach and students
    learn.  In classrooms in the same school (one with eMINTS and one without),
    the student achievement of students in the eMINTS classroom was repeatedly
    over 10% higher than the control classroom.
    
--  In West Virginia, students receiving access to on-line foreign
    language courses performed at least as well as those in face-to-face
    versions of the classes, providing access to high quality foreign language
    classes for those in rural areas.
    
--  In Michigan, students participating in the Freedom to Learn program
    showed increases in 8th grade math achievement increased from 31% in 2004
    to 63% in 2005 in one middle school, and science achievement increased from
    68% of students proficient in 2003 to 80% 2004.
    
--  In Texas, the Technology Immersion Pilot (TIP), implemented in middle
    schools, demonstrated that discipline referrals went down by over 1/2 with
    the changes in teaching and learning.  In one school, 6th grade
    standardized math scores increased by 5%, 7th grade math by 42%, and 8th
    grade math by 24%.
    
--  In Iowa, connecting teachers for sustainable professional development
    with curriculum interventions resulted in scientifically-based research
    findings of 8th grade math scores were 14 points higher, 4th grade math
    scores were 16 points higher, and 4th grade reading scores were 13 points
    higher than control students.
    
Without EETT, programs like the above that are changing teaching and learning and ensuring that our students are competitive may not survive and will certainly not be made available for all students. The EETT program offers an opportunity to provide our students and teachers with the tools they need to ensure America's Competitiveness through dedicated educational technology funding.

About SETDA

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal association for state directors of technology and their staff members. SETDA provides its membership consisting of 50 states and two territories with opportunities to collaborate and learn from one another as well as the broader education community. For more information about SETDA and/or its events, visit http://www.setda.org.

Contact Information

  • Contact
    Mary Ann Wolf
    Executive Director
    410-647-6965
    Email Contact