Today, the Foundation for Excellence in Education released the 2014 Digital Learning Report Card, an annual report that grades each state’s 2014 digital education policies. If you’re left wondering how these policies affect you, just consider what is happening in your hometown right now.
In the homes on your street and the classrooms in your community, history is being made. The leaders, teachers and innovators of tomorrow are today’s students. And the quality of education we offer them now will determine our future.
The quality of education each child receives will do one of two things. It will either equip the student to launch into the world ready for life’s challenges and opportunities, or it will shortchange a future and leave yet another young citizen unprepared to face the demands of college and careers.
Our actions today will decide history.
Leaders across the nation know this, and many are working to create education systems that offer all students the opportunity to reach their greatest potential. One way states are doing this is through digital learning.
In 2014, states passed 50 new digital learning laws. In addition to looking at new legislation, many states focused on implementing the 422 digital learning laws enacted over the past four years. Good policy is not confined to a single legislative cycle. It takes hard, continuous work, but it is well worth the effort.
Digital learning has the power to connect students with the best teachers in the world. It can offer all students access to hard-to-serve courses and groundbreaking career and technical education as well as vocational training. Digital learning promises better instruction, tailored to the progress and needs of each student. It can allow advancement when a student masters a concept. It can provide additional support for subject areas where students are struggling. Digital learning policies offer a new way to fund education and learning, not fettered by old constraints linked to time, but rather linking funding to learning and the needs of students.
The 2014 Digital Learning Report Card highlights the efforts of each state to create new opportunities for students, explore new models of learning and provide needed infrastructure. This fourth annual report card underscores the opportunities states have to create an environment where digital learning can help students thrive. Whether it’s Louisiana making sacrifices to expand its Course Access program and seeing a huge spike in enrollment, or Ohio looking to districts and schools to spark innovation, states are refusing to let obstacles limit progress.
We have the tools and capability to create an education system that allows all students to flourish. For the sake of our students and our nation, we must make that vision a reality.
To learn more about how your state is using digital learning to improve education, view the 2014 Digital Learning Report Card.
About the author
Patricia Levesque @levesquepat
Patricia is the Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She served as Governor Jeb Bush’s deputy chief of staff for education, enterprise solutions for government, minority procurement, and business and professional regulation. Previously, Patricia served six years in the Florida Legislature in the Speakers Office and as staff director over education policy. Contact Patricia at PatriciaLevesque@excelined.org