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STATE Policy Agenda

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Education and Workforce Development

With global economic leadership at stake, education and workforce development are more critical than ever.  TechNet supports policies that help prepare our students to be a successful part of a global, interconnected, and technology-driven economy.

The state program supports the following principles:

·      Full funding for our public schools in order to give school leaders the resources and flexibility needed to innovate and deliver the highest quality education to all students in K-12, higher education, and beyond.

·      Digital learning resources and technology integration in student learning environments to improve student outcomes and enable college and career readiness.

·      The recruitment and training of qualified teachers and innovative school administrators.

·      Increased access for students to high-level STEM, computer science, information technology (IT), and coding courses, with a focus on underrepresented students including women and people of color.

·      High standards and accountability.

·      Workforce and skills development programs that are aligned with the needs of students, workers, and businesses and recognize the value of continuous learning as well as alternative educational pathways toward digitally resilient jobs.

Priority Issues

Drive Innovation in the Classroom

·      Digital learning: Promote the use of digital content and tools to provide individualized, data-driven learning and improve educational outcomes.  

·      Champion hands-on, project-based learning to drive collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking skills.

·      Consistent, strategic funding: Support efforts to secure stable funding for digital education, aligned with a statewide vision to expand and promote digital innovation in the classroom.

·      Infrastructure: Support measures that focus finances, partnerships, and strategies to close the digital divide in urban and rural communities in order to ensure that all schools have sufficient infrastructure and secure network connectivity with the necessary speed, capacity, flexibility of choice, and reliability to support “smart” classrooms and provide sustained IT support to maintain and upgrade systems.

Recruit and Develop Qualified Teachers and Innovative Administrators

·      Professional development: Support programs that provide sustained and robust training for high-quality STEM and computer science teachers, both pre-service and in-service.

·      STEM teacher shortage: Support efforts that address the severe shortage of qualified STEM, computer science, and IT teachers and develop a sustainable pipeline of talent.

·      Teacher certification: Support the establishment of computer science and IT certification pathways that ensure all computer science and IT teachers have appropriate knowledge of and are prepared to teach the curriculum.

·      Empower teachers and administrators: Support programs that empower teachers and administrators to make informed decisions on the procurement of technology, leverage technology to evolve classroom teaching, and improve collaboration through communities of support.

Expand Access and Inspire Students

·      Underrepresented students: Support policies and programs that focus on engaging and providing opportunities for low-income students, women, and people of color in STEM subjects, computer science, and IT.

·      Early and broad exposure: Support policies and programs that ensure principles of computer science, IT, computational thinking, communication, and STEM skills are integrated, where possible, in other subjects of K-12 instruction.  

·      Awareness and inspiration: Support school and public/private programs that inspire the next generation of students to pursue STEM and computer science and IT careers and educate parents about opportunities in these fields.

Promote High Standards and Accountability

·      Make computer science and IT count: Ensure that a qualified computer science or IT course may fulfill a core science or math high school graduation requirement.

·      Implement rigorous computer science standards: Ensure computer science standards are focused on computational thinking skills and the creation and ethical use of software and other computing technologies.

·      Use data to drive accountability and learning: Support rigorous standards for students and the transition to data-driven assessments that provide a clearer picture of what and how students are learning and if they are developing the skills necessary to be college-ready and successful in the global marketplace.

Classroom to Career/Skills Development

·      Align the resources of educational and training systems with the needs of technology industry employers: Promote programs that award industry-recognized certifications to validate skills and job-readiness.

·      Support high-quality career and technical education (CTE): Ensure CTE programs advance academic, technical, and industry-relevant technology skills and collaboration and communication skills to prepare all students for success in college and technology-rich careers.

·      Increase access, affordability, and completion of postsecondary education and bridge the divide between higher education classroom learning and work: Expand access to real-world applied learning opportunities like internships and apprenticeships.

·      Promote lifelong learning, retraining, and reskilling policies and programs that allow workers, including independent workers, to attain the education and skills they need to stay current and advance their careers as jobs evolve.

       
       
     
     
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