In addition to the Common Core State Standards, California is implementing a new, online assessment system. The system is being rolled out amid concerns about whether schools are technologically prepared. This new report from the Public Policy Institute of California examines school districts’ technology infrastructure and their readiness for online testing, with key three findings rising to the top.
First, school districts express confidence in the quantity and quality of their hardware and network capabilities but remain concerned about software and training of instructional and IT staff. Second, there is sizable variation in readiness across districts, linked mainly to student enrollment and district expenditure levels. Third, a majority of the state’s one time Common Core Implementation Fund is going into non-technology spending such as instructional materials and teacher training. Regardless of their current readiness, districts will need targeted and ongoing support to upgrade and maintain their technology infrastructure. In the longer term, virtually all schools will need to upgrade their technology infrastructure in order to adopt and benefit from digital learning.