June 18, 2003, Extra Credit
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June 18, 2003
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Using Technology To Make Sure No Child Is Left Behind
The No Child Left Behind Act charges the Secretary of Education with developing a national strategy supporting the effective use of technology to improve student academic achievement and prepare them for the 21st century. Developing this strategy provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress our nation has made as a result of a decade of increased federal, state, local and private investments in connecting classrooms to the Internet, providing students with computers, and equipping teachers with the skills they need to use technology as an instructional tool.

A recent article in Education Week discussed the department's efforts to draft the new strategy. Following are excerpts from the article:

"The Department of Education has begun formulating a new national plan for the use of technology in American schools. Officials say the plan, the nation's third since 1996, will encompass recent changes in technology—trends such as online learning, virtual schools, technology literacy, and data-driven decisionmaking. At the same time, the blueprint will reflect the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which mandated drafting of the new plan."

"'It will celebrate a lot of progress we've made, while further addressing those areas and some other areas that have emerged, and will help mapping out strategies,' said John P. Bailey, the director of the department's office of educational technology. He is spearheading the planning effort."

"Mr. Bailey said his boss, Secretary of Education Rod Paige, 'is interested in exploring not just opportunities presented by distance learning and virtual schools, but what are some of the policies that are forming barriers that are inhibiting distance learning.'"

"For the first phase of the new planning effort, the Education Department is soliciting ideas for topics the plan should address. A Web site devoted to the project urges interested individuals or groups to fax or e-mail their suggestions by the end of July."

"Students, in particular, are to be involved to an unprecedented degree, Mr. Bailey said. 'We want to be discussing ways students are growing up differently as a result of being exposed to technology outside of school—such as online games, [digital music files] instant messaging,' he said. 'There's a fair amount of expectations that are being created by students as a result of being exposed to technology out of school.'"


About Extra Credit
NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/13/2013