SIIA Calls for Support for Digital Planning in ESSA Implementation

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In response to a request for advice and recommendations for proposed regulations to implement programs under Title I of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), SIIA submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Education with recommendations intended to encourage innovation from the ground up.

For years, education has dealt with a series of mandates from the department dictating how states and school districts may spend their federal dollars. While the department’s intentions were always good, these requirements did not always allow for the development of new and innovative interventions or approaches to meet local needs. SIIA believes the new ESSA provides the flexibility necessary for innovation to flourish without abandoning the principles of ensuring a high-quality education for every student.

As part of our recommendations, SIIA asks the department to provide assistance to states and school districts in planning for the transition to digital learning. Every year, more and more schools adopt technology solutions to improve student outcomes, but many do not have the expertise or capacity to design, implement, and manage an effective strategy for digital conversion and the seamless integration of technology and pedagogy.

In addition, SIIA made the following recommendations to the department:

1.       Issue regulations only with a light touch.

2.       Provide guidance where regulation is not necessary.

3.       Clarify effective dates for transition to the new law.

SIIA will continue to work with the department and provide feedback during the implementation of ESSA and through any regulatory process. To read SIIA’s full recommendations, please find our letter here.

Brendan