March 9, 2011
Contact: Sara Hall

SETDA Response to Obama Administration Proposal to Launch New Educational Technology R&D Agency (ARPA-ED)

Washington, DC – The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) commends President Obama for his focus on the necessity of technology and innovation to drive school reform and improvement in the 21st century. While expanding the nation’s research and development capacity for learning technologies in the academic and business community is a vital step, it is an insufficient strategy to win the future.

“Any comprehensive approach to leveraging learning technology to better prepare all of the nation’s students for college and 21st century careers – including especially students in rural and high-poverty schools – must be coupled with direct and sustained investments in school technology infrastructure, teacher capacity and support, and educational technology leadership,” said Douglas Levin, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA).

The State EdTech Grant Program or Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program is the only currently authorized federal education program dedicated to meeting these needs.

Without sustained investment in technology for education, state and local efforts already underway to expand access to rigorous courses through online learning, to use education data to guide instruction and decision making, and to support teachers and administrators in implementing newly adopted college and career ready standards and assessments are all at grave risk.

As Secretary Duncan has said, ‘In the 21st century, schools can’t be throw-backs to the state of education fifty, twenty, or even ten years ago.’ Yet, by eliminating EETT – as Congress is considering – that is exactly what will happen and today’s at-risk students will be the ones who suffer.

For up-to-date information regarding the technology needs of K-12 schools and select profiles of the EETT program at work, please see the following documents:

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