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2013 Digital Learning Report Card Signals Progress in High-Quality Digital Learning Options

The report highlights strides made by states and underscores needed reforms.
  • <strong>2013 Digital Learning Report Card</strong>

"...more states are allowing students to customize their education in a way that best meets their learning style," said Jeb Bush, Chairman of ExcelinEd.

    WASHINGTON, DC, March 14, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Digital Learning Now!, a national initiative of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), has released its 2013 Digital Learning Report Card. The Report Card measures and grades K-12 education policies in each of the nation's 50 states against the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning.

"It's encouraging to see the number of states that are working toward breaking down policy barriers that prevent students from being the center of our education system," said Jeb Bush, former Florida Governor and Chairman of ExcelinEd. "As this Digital Learning Report Card highlights, more states are allowing students to customize their education in a way that best meets their learning style, and empowers them with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college and the workplace."

Governors and state legislators are making strides in offering high-quality digital learning options and supporting next-generation models of learning that empower teachers and provide a customized education to each student. In 2013, more than 450 digital learning bills were debated and 132 were ultimately signed into law, bringing the total of enacted legislation since 2011 to more than 360. More than 20 states advanced an entire overall letter grade as measured by the Report Card.

"State policy plays a crucial role in scaling next-generation models of learning, bringing us closer to personalized education for all students," said Patricia Levesque, Chief Executive Officer of ExcelinEd. "Emerging technologies can be a catalyst for rethinking the way we organize learning, provide instruction, and meet the needs of students, teachers and parents."

"Too often, new education models, including online, blended and competency-based learning, are blocked by outdated regulations and laws," said John Bailey, Executive Director of Digital Learning Now! "The Report Card provides a comprehensive analysis of state policy climates that create the necessary conditions to support high-quality, next-generation models of learning and the effective use of technology in the classroom."

The Report Card highlights the efforts of each state to create new opportunities for students, explore new models of learning, and provide needed infrastructure. It also underscores the opportunities for reform to create an environment where digital learning can thrive.

Highlights from the 2013 legislative session include:

- Utah, the highest ranked state in the Report Card, passed the "Student Achievement Backpack," which creates portable education records that follow the student from school to school and grade to grade, and gives parents the right and ability to securely access the records.
- Florida enhanced online learning options including the use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for credit.
- Texas passed legislation that enhances their virtual school network to bring more course options to students in grades 6-12.
- Arkansas and Nevada made huge gains on the Report Card in 2013. Arkansas emphasized increasing student eligibility for digital learning and expanding the definition of instructional material to include technology-based material, while Nevada focused on removing access restrictions to distance education.
- Louisiana implemented an innovative course choice program offering students a range of online, blended and face-to-face options from a diverse group of providers including institutions of higher education, non-profits, school districts and several private providers.
- Numerous states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and Texas, also passed legislation advancing competency-based models of learning in which students can earn credit based on mastery instead of seat-time.

The 2013 Report Card includes 41 actionable metrics that examine state laws, administrative rules, and other policy levers to ensure the 10 Elements are addressed while presenting a broader picture of digital learning across the nation. This year's report card includes interactive data on each state, links to resources and videos, summaries of all enacted legislation, and analysis of votes in competency-based and course choice legislation.

Join the conversation online with the hashtag #DLNprogress, or use the sample tweets below to spread the word:

- New @DigLearningNow Report Card shows states are rising to challenge of supporting NextGen models of learning http://bit.ly/1mWauyn #DLNprogress

- In '13, more than 450 #digLn bills were debated & 132 signed into law. Check out @DigLearningNow report! #DLNprogress http://bit.ly/1mWauyn

- Check to see how your state is advancing reforms aligned to @DigLearningNow's 10 Elements http://bit.ly/1mWauyn #DLNprogress

About the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning
In 2010, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise convened the Digital Learning Council, a diverse group leaders in education, government, philanthropy, business, technology and policy, to identify specific issues and policies states need to address in order to support emerging next-generation models of learning. The Council's work produced a consensus around the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning. The 10 elements are: student eligibility, student access, personalized learning, advancement, quality content, quality instruction, quality choices, assessment and accountability, funding, and infrastructure.

Digital Learning Now! is a national initiative under ExcelinEd, with the goal of advancing state policies that create a high-quality digital learning environment to better equip all students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in this 21st-century economy. The policy framework stems from the belief that access to high-quality, customized learning experiences should be available to all students, unbounded by geography or artificial policy constraints.

More states are allowing students to customize their education in a way that best meets their learning style, and empowers them with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college and the workplace.


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Digital Learning Now!

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