States’ report card for school innovation

By Anne Collier

The US states’ report card for innovation in education wasn’t all bad news: For example, “Massachusetts, Colorado, and Rhode Island got gold stars for their policies to promote extended learning time in schools.” But all of those states got Ds for tech innovation. The report – “Leaders and Laggards: A State-by-State Report Card on Educational Innovation” – was not pretty, with “most states earning Cs, Ds, or even Fs in such key areas as technology, high school quality, and removal of ineffective teachers,” Education Week reports. Sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Center for American Progress, and the American Enterprise Institute, the report used “state data and existing and original research to assign letter grades to states.” Technology grades were based on criteria such as teachers’ technology proficiency, student access to tech, whether there are online schools in the state, and whether the state assesses return on investments in technology. Six states got As for technology: Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia. Twelve states got Bs; 14 Cs; 18 Ds (including the District of Columbia), and one – Nevada – got an F for tech innovation. A key critic of the report was the 1.4 million-member American Federation of Teachers, which said its recommendations fit with “the factory model of education.” The full report can be downloaded from the US Chamber site in PDF format, and the Tech section starts on p. 46.

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