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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