A new report put out by Aurora Institute offers policy recommendations for the K-12 education system to produce equitable outcomes for all students, including closing the digital divide.
While many states have taken steps to move towards a more equitable system, the report said, “more work must be done to meet students where they are and accelerate them to successful futures and prosperity.”
The report made many recommendations, including providing new funding for special programs such as the Education, Innovation, and Research (EIR) program, as well as better training programs for educators.
One key policy priority the report highlighted is closing the digital divide.
“Bridging the digital divide requires increasing Federal funding and expanding access to broadband so that all students, families, and staff in K-12 education are connected to high-speed internet,” the report says.
“Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should continue to modernize and expand the E-Rate and Lifeline programs for schools, communities, and home broadband and high-speed internet access and services to address the persistent inequalities that digitally disconnected students and staff face,” it added.
In addition to bridging the digital divide, the report also offered recommendations for the following areas:
- Advance education innovations;
- Transform systems of assessments;
- Rethink next-generation accountability;
- Create learning ecosystems and competency-based pathways aligned across K-12, higher education, career and technical education, and the workforce;
- Modernize the educator workforce;
- Diversify the educator workforce;
- Advance educational equity; and
- Support COVID-19 learning recovery.