“When it comes to accessing the internet, the nation’s teachers and students are stuck on a two-lane road in an eight-lane world,” said Wise.
Washington, DC – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it is accepting public comments on a proposal to expand and modernize the e-Rate program to make it easier to access and increase the number of low-income students with high-speed internet access. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, made the following statement:
“When it comes to accessing the internet, the nation’s teachers and students are stuck on a two-lane road in an eight-lane world.
“This quick action from the FCC is the first step in a plan to provide 99 percent of America’s students with high-speed internet access through next-generation broadband in schools and libraries within five years.
“Thanks to e-Rate, more than 95 percent of schools have some basic internet connectivity today, compared to just 14 percent in 1996, but just having access to the internet isn’t enough; teachers and students need access to high-speed internet.
“There was a time when the nation thought that two-lane roads would meet all of its transportation needs. When demand exceeded capacity, the federal government acted to expand highways and ease congestion.
“The federal government needs to take similar action to speed up internet connections in the nation’s schools and classrooms. Eighty percent of schools today do not have adequate bandwidth to handle modern education needs. That means the nation’s teachers and students are stuck on the old two-lane model. And with more learning devices-laptops, tablets, smart phones, and more-those two lanes are only getting more and more crowded.
“By expanding high-speed internet in the nation’s schools and libraries, the federal government can ensure that teachers and students have access to tools that make learning more personalized and more engaging, making it possible for all students to reach their learning destinations.”
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal education policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. www.all4ed.org
Save the date for Digital Learning Day 2014: February 5.
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