Public Education Modernization Act – HB 131

It’s an overcast afternoon in London as you make your way around the yard of Shakespeare’s Globe, your English teacher your tour guide. As you arrive on the Globe’s stage it feels like you’ve been taken back in time. Looking out past the enormous red column, you try to imagine how how loud you’d have to shout, for the crowd to hear you. Suddenly the screen of your device changes and there sits a pop quiz.

This is what one-to-one learning looks like.

All over the country students and teachers have embraced technology in education, and the results are impressive.

Schools with properly implemented one-to-one programs have seen:

·      A rise in attendance as students have become more engaged and motivated.

·      SAT scores rise to school all-time highs

·      An increase in students’ standardized achievement test scores

·      School dropout rates falling

·      Decreases in disciplinary action

For example, schools in New York‘s School District 75 saw:

·      38% increase in peer collaboration

·      23% increase student motivation

·      38% increase in completing class work

·      69% increase in student behavior – less outbursts

·      23% increase in student attendance

·      38% increase in academic skills, such as note taking, writing, etc.

After just one year.

But this initiative is so much more than just putting devices into the hands of students. It is impossible to overstate the power of individual teachers in the success of a one-to-one initiative, which is why the Public Education Modernization Act accounts for the cost of professional development as well as the cost of the device. It takes training to be able to utilize the software and devices in the most efficient way possible and we’re prepared to provide it.

Attached is a flowchart designed to help you understand how this bill will work.

1.     A one-to-one advisory committee will be appointed.

2.     The State Board will submit a request for proposal, or RFP.

3.     That will yield a master plan that will include plans for infrastructure, professional development, devices, tech support, replacement, and evaluation.

4.     Next the State Board will issue another RFP, this time for devices and software.

5.     Providers will submit bids for devices and software programs.

6.     LEA grants are presented as a means to fund software program and device costs.

7.     The State Board will conduct an independent evaluation of the one-to-one initiative.

The Public Education Modernization Act has a fiscal note of $200 million dollars. $50 million will be one-time money provided to make sure schools have sufficient and reliable broadband and Wi-Fi capabilities. $150 million will be on-going money that will provide for professional development and devices. Critics have asked, “Is this the best way to spend $200 million?” And the answer will always be a resounding: “Yes.” Preparing our students and teachers to work and thrive in an increasingly technological economy is worth the investment.

This morning, Tom Greaves of Project Red will join Rep. Gibson in presenting HB 131 to the education committee. You can read more about Project Red and their findings here.

UPDATE: Attached is data from Henrico County,  the HB 131 flow chart, the HB 131 information packet, and Data from Mooresville. For more data and education information, contact House Communications or leave a comment.


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