No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
March 04, 2010

NYSUT NCLB Fact Sheet 6: Educational Technology Initiatives

Source: Research and Educational Services

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Statutory Summary

The Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program (ESEA Title II, Part D, Subpart 1) consolidates the former Technology Literacy Challenge Fund program and the Technology Innovative Challenge Grant program into a single program and provides the consolidated funds to states as a block grant.

The primary goal of the EETT program is to improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in schools. It is also designed to assist students in crossing the digital divide by ensuring that every student is technologically literate by the end of the eighth grade and to encourage the effective integration of technology with teacher training and curriculum development to establish successful research-based instructional methods.

Under the EETT program, the U.S. Department of Education provides grants to state educational agencies (SEAs) on the basis of their proportionate share of funding under Title I, Part A. States may retain up to 5 percent of their allocations for state-level activities. One-half of the remaining 95% must be distributed to eligible local educational agencies (LEAs)/school districts as formula grantsand the other one-half as competitive grantsto eligible local entities. In turn, LEAs/districts must use at least 25% of either formula or competitive funds for professional development in technology. The competitive grants target students in high need school districts that have been identified as schools in need of improvement.

In addition, for 2010-11, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provides $55.6 million to New York State to fund the ARRA EETT competitive grant program. These grants, available to a "high-need local educational agency" or an "eligible local partnership," are intended to improve instructional strategies and student academic achievement including technology literacy through research-based and technology-infused school and district implementation projects. The ARRA EETT program will use the same guidelines as ESEA/Title II, Part D but with more rigorous reporting requirements. If awarded, funding will begin on May 1, 2010 and end on September 30, 2011.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Does a school district need an educational technology plan in order to receive EETT funds?

Answer: Yes. An eligible district must have a new or updated long-range strategic educational technology plan that is consistent with the objectives of the statewide technology plan and that addresses the statutory local plan requirements. The district does not have to develop a new technology plan for the EETT program but may use its current technology plan, modified as necessary to comply with the requirements of the EETT legislation.

Question: What information needs to be contained in a school district's application to the state for EETT funds?

Answer: A district that seeks EETT funding must submit an application to the state that includes:

  • Strategies for improving academic achievement and teacher effectiveness;
  • A description of the district's specific goals for using advanced technology to improve student academic achievement;
  • Steps to ensure that all students and teachers have increased access to technology;
  • Promotion of curricula and teaching strategies that integrate technology;
  • Ongoing, sustained professional development;
  • The development and use of innovative strategies for the delivery of specialized or rigorous courses and curricula through the use of technology;
  • Coordination with other resources;
  • A description of how the district will use technology to promote parental involvement and increase communication with parents; and
  • Accountability measures that will evaluate the effectiveness of technology integration into curricula and instruction.

Question: What is the expectation for professional development provided by the school district as part of the EETT grant?

Answer: Each district receiving EETT funds must use at least 25% of its funds to provide ongoing, sustained and intensive, high-quality professional development. The district must provide professional development in the integration of advanced technologies, including emerging technologies, into curricula and instruction and in using those technologies to create new learning environments. An exemption from this requirement may be provided if the LEA can demonstrate that they already provide high-quality professional development supporting the integration of technology into instruction. Examples of professional development activities include but are not limited to:

  • Accessing data to develop curricular and instructional materials;
  • Enabling teachers to use the Internet and other technology to communicate with parents, other teachers, principals and other administrators;
  • Enabling teachers to retrieve Internet-based learning resources; and
  • Developing improvements in classroom instruction or in core curricular areas. 

Question: What are some examples of activities that might be supported through a school district's EETT grant award?

Answer: The remaining 75% of a district's EETT funds could support:

  • Adapting or expanding applications of technology to enable teachers to increase student academic achievement, including technology literacy, through teaching practices that are based on the review of relevant research and through the use of innovative distance learning strategies;
  • Expanding initiatives to increase access;
  • Implementing proven and effective courses and curricula that include integrated technology and that are designed to help students reach challenging academic standards;
  • Purchasing computers; if computers are purchased for internet access in elementary or secondary schools, such schools must have in place a school internet safety policy for minors;
  • Using technology to promote parental involvement and foster communication among students, parents and teachers about curricula, assignments and assessments;
  • Preparing one or more teachers in schools as technology leaders who will assist other teachers and providing bonus payments to technology leaders;
  • Using technology to collect, manage and analyze data to inform and enhance teaching and school improvement efforts; and
  • Implementing enhanced performance measurement systems to determine the effectiveness of education technology programs funded with Ed Tech funds. 

Advice to Local Leaders

  • Review the district's long-range strategic educational technology plan to make sure it supports EETT activities. If there is no district plan or it needs to be updated or modified, attempt to include the participation of representatives selected by the collective bargaining unit in the development activities.
  • Teacher representative participation in the identification of professional development activities supported by the EETT grant is essential. The district must ensure that activities are consistent with the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement, reflect the technology needs of the instructional staff, and are addressed in the district's Professional Development Plan required by New York State.
  • If the district EETT application includes stipends (bonus payments) for teachers who become technology leaders, ensure that such payments are consistent with the existing collective bargaining agreements or are negotiated. Negotiate additional contract language as appropriate.

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