While we generally stay away from politics in this blog, the passage of new federal legislation to replace No Child Left Behind deserves comment.
With our unwavering focus on higher-order thinking skills and student engagement, for many years we felt like a lone voice in the No Child Left Behind wilderness. While standardized testing may have a role to play in K-12 education, it’s the virtual antithesis of our mission and learning philosophy.
While the new legislation doesn’t abandon standardized testing (we never expected that it would), it appears to be less of an obstacle to a renewed emphasis on authentic learning. For that, we welcome the bill and applaud the bipartisan support it received.
By no means have we had time to understand the full implication of the 1,059 page bill. We’ll be closely watching for further analysis. At first blush though, it seems like a positive development.
And by the way, under the language of the new bill, SmartLabs qualify as both educational technology and blended learning programs – something to keep in mind when exploring funding options.