Schools Are Not Tech Ready for the Common Core

Ed Week reports that school districts are raising concerns about being technologically ready to give Common Core State Standards assessments to their students.

Understatement of the year perhaps?

Administrators say they remain uncertain about the types of devices to buy, the bandwidth they need, and the funding available for technology improvements.

An initial round of data collection launched to determine technology gaps for schools preparing for the common-core online assessments has so far had limited participation from districts and many states. And state and national education groups are detecting a rising level of anxiety among school and district leaders regarding the technology they feel is necessary to implement online testing by the 2014-15 deadline.

Some districts “are panicked about getting ready for it, but some are not even in a place where they know enough to be panicked yet,” says Ann Flynn, the director of educational technology for the Alexandria, Va.-based National School Boards Association. “I won’t say they’re in denial, but it’s going to be a real challenge for a lot of districts.”

Superintendent Kaylin Coody of Oklahoma’s 1,800-student Hilldale school system says her district doesn’t have the staff or technology it will need to implement the common-core assessments. For example, though the district’s elementary school has 400 students, the building has only 43 computers.

“With the current financial constraints facing Oklahoma public schools, I do not see how most of us will be able to provide adequate hardware and prepare staff to manage the level of testing being planned, especially in a short testing window,” Coody writes in an e-mail.

Read the rest.