The End of No Child Left Behind Brings Technology Back to the Classroom

EduImg_100x100Rachel Eckertby Rachel Eckert, Consultant – SLED

As the No Child Left Behind Act draws to a close, the education market is seeing a shift in focus that will bring about much-needed change in school curriculum and learning approaches — all with an eye towards technology integration.

The No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law in 2002, provided an avenue for teachers to identify where students were progressing and where they might be falling behind. Gradually, its requirements became too limiting for teachers and ultimately ineffective. In its place is the Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law December 10, 2015. This relatively new act fundamentally changes how content and curriculum are developed for schools. Rather than mandates and broad-brush minimums required by the federal government, the new Every Student Succeeds Act puts the states and then each school locality system in control of the decisions and benchmarks that make sense for them.

The new act approaches academia from a birth to career perspective and includes funding to develop programs for Pre-K education all the way to career preparation. The previous act garnered numerous complaints about the idea of “teaching to a test” and the ineffectiveness of this concept in preparing our children for the future. The new act and accompanying legislation (related to the Common Core) instead prepares students for college and a career — with an emphasis on skills in reading and math.

The implementation of this legislation by state and local educational institutions is important for IT vendors because it not only changes what students are taught, but how students are taught. Students will increasingly see more technology in their daily classroom studies, reflecting a changing marketplace that is more technology driven. Accommodating this influx of technology into schools will result in new opportunities for broadband expansion and mobile devices, and these are areas where IT vendors can lend their support to schools through coordinated wireless and broadband implementation strategies, mobile device integration, and mobile application development.

To learn more about IT sales opportunities in education on the state and local level, register today for my webinar on March 17th. Join me for details on funding sources, program drivers, and key decision makers tied to future sales opportunities in education.

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