Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Superintendent Luna Reviews Work of Technology Task Force

On Tuesday, January 31, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna presented an update on Students Come First and the work of the Technology Task Force to the Joint House and Senate Education Committees. The following are Superintendent Luna’s prepared remarks for the update on the work of the Technology Task Force. A full list of recommendations is available on the Students Come First website.

With this, I will now turn to the Technology Task Force Report.

I will provide a brief background on the Technology Task Force and then turn the time over to each of the Subcommittee Chairs who are here today to report on the recommendations that this Task Force unanimously approved in December.

Let me quickly introduce each of the Subcommittee Chairs:

·         Rep. Reed DeMordaunt led the One-to-One Governance and Instructional Integration Subcommittee.
·         Stefani Cook, Idaho’s 2011 Teacher of the Year, led the Classroom Technology Integration Subcommittee.
·         Jayson Ronk of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, led the Platform, Specifications, and Procurement Subcommittee.
·         Andy Grover, superintendent of the Melba School District, led the Online Learning Implementation Subcommittee.

As part of the Students Come First laws, we created a task force to study and develop plans for the successful implementation of the technology components of these laws and directed me to report back on the Task Force’s work by January 31, 2012.  

You each have a copy of the full, written report.

Under the law, the Task Force had to be made up of at least 28 members, 17 of which I could appoint and 11 of which were appointed by educational stakeholder groups, the Idaho Legislature, and the Office of the Governor.

Since we wanted to ensure we had a wide range of experienced perspectives, I expanded the membership of the Task Force to include parents, school board trustees, and more classroom teachers.

In May, I asked people from across Idaho to apply if they were interested in participating on the Task Force. 

I appointed Task Force members based on their experience, willingness to work together and the perspective they could bring to the table. 

The Task Force included school district superintendents, district technology directors, secondary school principals, a district business manager, a head of a virtual public charter school, a head of a traditional public charter school that serves grades 9-12, secondary classroom teachers, representatives of the business community, school board trustees, parents, and at-large community members.

12 educators served on the Task Force, 4 of whom currently serve as classroom teachers.

You can see from the next slide, the Task Force also included the following groups:  

In June, 38 individuals came together with different ideas, attitudes and opinions about education reform in Idaho.

They worked as a large Task Force together at times and also worked in subcommittees for part of the time.

They conducted site visits to states and districts that have successfully implemented 1:1 initiatives, including:  
  • Maine
  • Auburn, Alabama, and
  • Klein, Texas

We heard other reports from experts in digital learning, teachers in Denver, professors at Boise State, and teachers right here in Idaho who have successfully integrated technology in their classrooms.

After 7 months of study and hard work, each subcommittee brought forward a series of recommendations in December.

The Task Force unanimously passed these recommendations.

With their recommendations, we now will be able to provide equal education opportunities for all Idaho students and the tools and resources Idaho teachers need to raise academic achievement.

Now, Mr. Chair, with your permission, I will turn the time over to each Subcommittee Chair to present their recommendations.

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