Nation???s Digital Learning Report Card
Ten months ago, through their Digital Learning Now! (DLN) initiative, Jeb Bush and Bob Wise set forth ten “elements of high quality digital learning” (things like student access, personalized learning, and quality content). Today, they make good on their promise to bring these priorities squarely and concretely into the policy fold through their “Roadmap for Reform” and “Digital Learning Report Cards.” The former builds off the DLN’s initial ten elements, articulating seventy-two “nuts and bolts” policy metrics for states. The latter scores all states’ digital-learning policies on these metrics (think: the Data Quality Campaign’s ten state actions—but on steroids), marking the measures as either achieved, partially achieved, or not there yet. For individual state policymakers, each report card offers a thorough appraisal of each state’s strengths and weaknesses on issues ranging from internet access to fractional funding to use of student evaluations in digital courses. (Note: D.C. and North Carolina data are not yet published.) Unfortunately, the folks at the DLN haven’t yet officially graded—or ranked—the states. But don’t fret: Gadfly did.
We tallied states’ scores—counting only the number of metrics the states achieved (not those partially achieved), took their score over seventy-two, and then graded them on an (understandably subjective) curve. Utah and Wyoming earn accolades for being, when it comes to policy, the friendliest states for digital-learning—though there is more work to be done: Both have met forty-nine of the DLN’s seventy-two metrics. Sharing their A-grade are Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Virginia, and Washington. (Florida’s forty-one achieved metrics earned it an A-minus and tied it for eighth with Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.) On the other end of the spectrum, California hits only fourteen metrics and ranks last—though it shares the “F” designation with eighteen other states, including RTTT-winning Delaware, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. Luckily, pushing promising digital-learning policies through state legislatures is priority number one for the DLN folks in the coming months—and they’ve recruited a smart cast of advisors and advocates to help this charge. Stay tuned for more.
Digital Learning Council “Nation’s Digital Learning Report Card” (Foundation for Excellence in Education, October 2011).
Digital Learning Council “Roadmap for Reform” (Foundation for Excellence in Education, October 2011).
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