A 21st Century Digital Boy

I don't know how to read but I've got a lot of toys

"...tech alone is not enough. Without educators who get to know each student — including his or her unique strengths, challenges, interests and learning styles — and select digital tools that can improve learning for students individually, technology is just as likely to become a story repeater as a story changer." (ISTE Connects, 11/3/16)

Title IV: 21st Century Schools

This block grant program is important for advocates because it is where all of the enrichment, extracurricular, wrap-around services and support systems for students are located. Literacy advocates will want to see a fully funded Title IV, Part A program in the first years of ESSA so that sates can receive adequate funds to ensure LEAs [Local Educational Agencies] have the resources necessary to provide enrichment and support for students - particularly as complementary funding to Title II teacher professional development as well as for the use of technology and the arts. ~ESSA, page 16

Rational to Prediction

The purpose of Title IV, Part A is to improve students' academic achievement by "increasing the capacity of states, LEAs, schools, and communities to provide students with access to a well-rounded education, improve school conditions for student learning, and improve the use of technology." (ESSA, page 33)

I predict that these funds will initially increase activities that support these three specific areas - we have already seen an huge increase in interest and funding of K-12 STEM programs in particular. The structure of this funding goes even further to support other "well-rounded" educational experiences, "safe and healthy" students, and the effective use of technology to increase access to personalized learning. Notably, this funding may also be used for professional development that trains teachers on using data to inform instruction - a critical key to success. All of these aspects tie in with increased literacy for students.

Unfortunately, Deputy Superintendent Salam Noor notes, in the May 2017 Education Update, that while "Congress has passed the spending plan for the remainder of the current fiscal year," the President's budget for the next fiscal year eliminates funding for Title II-A, Title IV-A and Title IV-B. What actually happens remains to be seen.

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