Policies and Reports
As a champion of public education and the critical role of teachers, the Alliance works to encourage the development and implementation of federal and national policies that support effective high school reform and increase student achievement and attainment. As part of these efforts, the Alliance supports the common-sense implementation of digital learning and technology in America’s schools that supports school reform, assists teachers, improves learning, and helps students reach their highest potential.
The Nation's Schools Are Stepping Up to Higher Standards (November 2012). This paper identifies four major challenges that public school district leaders must systemically address in the next two years: (1) graduating all students college and career ready; (2) managing shrinking budgets; (3) training and supporting teachers; and (4) the growing technology needs of students and society. The report outlines the essential elements for developing a comprehensive digital strategy to help school district leaders make smart, far-reaching decisions to support teachers in K-12 public schools.
Culture Shift: Teaching in a Learner-Centered Environment Powered by Digital Learning - May 31, 2012. Preparing all students to succeed in today’s increasingly global economy and complex world requires a shift from a teacher-centric culture to learner-centered instruction, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. This report examines the characteristics of learner-centered instruction and the support that educators and schools will require to make such an approach work. It argues that a learner-centered approach will not succeed without a cultural shift throughout the education system that includes maximizing the potential of digital learning to meet students’ needs.
The Digital Learning Imperative: How Technology and Teaching Meet Today’s Education Challenges - January 4, 2012. This report outlines how digital learning can connect middle and high school students with better teaching and learning experiences while also addressing three major challenges facing the nation’s education system—access to good teaching, tight budgets, and boosting student achievement. But simply slapping a netbook on top of a textbook will not lead to improvements. Effective educational technology strategies must link the “Three Ts”—teaching, technology, and use of time—with overall whole-school reform strategies and proven pedagogical practices to accelerate the pace of improvement and ensure that all students benefit from the opportunity that digital learning offers.
Digital Learning and Technology: Federal Policy Recommendations to Seize the Opportunity—and Promising Practices That Inspire Them Policy Brief - August 2, 2011. Technology and digital learning provide innovative opportunities to improve education, personalize learning for each student, and have better student achievement. This brief highlights the promising practices that some schools are employing to transform student learning and the federal policies that can assist schools in making that transformation. The promising practices shared in this brief point to several key areas in which technology and digital learning can make a difference for teachers and students. They include examples that illustrate how some states, districts, and schools are maximizing the potential of technology and digital learning to change student outcomes. The federal policies emphasize that the federal government has the opportunity to assist states, school districts, and public schools by creating policies that encourage innovation and provide options for digital learning and technology.
10 Elements of High-Quality Digital Learning Report - December 1, 2010. On December 1, 2010, Jeb Bush, governor of Florida 1999-2007, and Bob Wise, governor of West Virginia 2001-2005, released the "10 Elements of High-Quality Digital Learning." The ten elements represent the recommendations of the Digital Learning Council (DLC), a diverse group of more than one hundred leaders in education, government, philanthropy, business, technology and policy, and was meant to serve as a beginning for reform discussions within the traditional public school setting at the local, state, and federal officials to advance the conversation regarding online and virtual learning.
iNACOL National Standards of Quality for Online Courses - National Standards for Online Course Quality is designed to provide states, districts, online programs, and other organizations with a set of quality guidelines for online course content, instructional design, technology, student assessment, and course management. In partnership with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), iNACOL adopted the Standards for Quality Online Courses as a primary source, with an additional rubric for inclusion of 21st century skills, with reference to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
REAL Commission Report - The REAL Agenda Commission, formed by the TechAmerica Foundation, released a report last year which details key recommendations on research initiatives and policies to advance the use of technology to transform education. The Commission was established by TechAmerica at the behest of the then White House Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, to guide the agenda of Digital Promise, a 501(c)(3) established by Congress to spur breakthrough technologies to transform teaching and learning.
The Importance of Curriculum Evaluation - The critical component of a quality education is a quality curriculum, one that is rigorous, enables students to excel, and is easy for teachers to use. Increasingly, schools are considering digital curriculum as a means to provide differentiated, high-quality instruction that meets the needs of all students. When schools choose a digital curriculum, a crucial element of the process is conducting a thorough evaluation to ensure that the quality expected is evident. This rubric is to assist in the evaluation of high quality digital curriculum.