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Education leaders applaud ATTAIN Act.

In August 2007, a coalition of education and industry groups applauded a bill introduced by Senators Bingaman (D-NM), Burr (R-NC), and Murray (D-WA). The proposed Achievement Through Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) Act is similar to its companion in the House (HR 2449), by building upon the Enhancing Education Through Technology Program (EETT) embedded in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

About the Legislation

According to the Consortium for School Networking, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the Software & Information Industry Association, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association, the ATTAIN Act would leverage the success of EETT (Title II-D of NCLB). In particular, the legislation would improve student achievement in core curricular subjects by providing students with technology skills, access and support, and ensuring that all teachers are properly equipped to use technology effectively. Overall the three organizations explained in a joint statement to the press that the ATTAIN Act would:

* Focus funds on professional development and systemic redesign initiatives that leverage 21st century technologies.

* Prioritize funding to schools in need of improvement.

* Require states to assess whether students have attained technological literacy by the eighth grade.

"This is great news for kids and for teachers," said ISTE CEO, Don Knezek. "They need modern skills and tools to flourish--just like the rest of us and the nation as a whole. That's why we're so pleased to see the ATTAIN bill move forward in a bipartisan way through the House and now the Senate. It's a systematic and sensible approach to improving teaching and learning for this century."

Snapshot The ATTAIN Act At-a-Glance

The ATTAIN Act would update the existing EETT program by:

* Increasing the share of state-to-local funding distributed by formula from 50% to 60% and adding a minimum grant size in order to assure that more school districts receive allocations of sufficient size to permit them to operate significant education technology programs.

* Strengthening the program's emphasis on teacher quality and technology skills by raising the portion of formula-grants set aside for professional development from 25% to 40%, while emphasizing the importance of timely and ongoing training.

* Channeling the 40% of funds allocated for competitive grants, previously unrestricted, to schools and districts for systemic school reform built around the use of technology to redesign curriculum, instruction, assessment and data use.

* More closely aligning the program with NCLB's core mission by giving priority in competitive grant awards to schools identified as in need of improvement, including those with a large percentage of Limited English Proficient students and students with disabilities, as well as by focusing formula grants on students and subjects where proficiency is most lacking.

* Renewing NCLB's commitment to ensuring that students are technologically literate by the eighth grade through requiring states to assess student knowledge and skills, including through embedding assessment items in other state tests and performance-based assessments portfolios.

* Establishing a National Center for Achievement Through Technology to conduct research on education technology implementations and disseminate best practices.
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Title Annotation:Technology Update; Through Technology and Innovation
Publication:Curriculum Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:493
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