The Government’s Official Plan For Education Technology

The Department of Education has recently unveiled their proposal for the education system in the U.S. It’s chock full of great reasons to be at least a little hopeful about the future of the education system. Here’s a glimpse at just a few of what the DOE is promising:

Executive Summary

Education is the key to America’s economic growth and prosperity and to our ability to compete in the global economy. It is the path to good jobs and higher earning power for Americans. It is necessary for our democracy to work. It fosters the cross-border, cross-cultural collaboration required to solve the most challenging problems of our time.

Under the Obama administration, education has become an urgent priority driven by two clear goals. By 2020,

  • We will raise the proportion of college graduates from where it now stands [39%] so that 60% of our population holds a 2-year or 4-year degree.
  • We will close the achievement gap so that all students – regardless of race, income, or neighborhood – graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers.

These are aggressive goals and achieving them is a sizable challenge. Add to the challenge the projections of most states and the federal government of reduced revenues for the foreseeable future, and it is clear we need cost-effective and cost-saving strategies that improve learning outcomes and graduation rates for millions of Americans.

Specifically, we must embrace innovation, prompt implementation, regular evaluation, and continuous improvement. The programs and projects that work must be brought to scale so every school has the opportunity to take advantage of that success. Our regulations, policies, actions, and investments must be strategic and coherent.

Transforming American Education

To achieve these goals, the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) calls for revolutionary transformation rather than evolutionary tinkering. It urges our education system at all levels to

  • Be clear about the outcomes we seek.
  • Collaborate to redesign structures and processes for effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility.
  • Continually monitor and measure our performance.
  • Hold ourselves accountable for progress and results every step of the way.

Just as technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work, we must leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences, content, and resources and assessments that measure student achievement in more complete, authentic, and meaningful ways. Technology-based learning and assessment systems will be pivotal in improving student learning and generating data that can be used to continuously improve the education system at all levels. Technology will help us execute collaborative teaching strategies combined with professional learning that better prepare and enhance educators’ competencies and expertise over the course of their careers. To shorten our learning curve, we can learn from other kinds

Click here to download the full PDF of the Dept. of Education’s plan.