Jan. 15 – Educators and leaders from all sectors of education are facing tough fiscal choices and seeking innovative ways to lessen states’ economic hardships on schools. A recent policy update by the National Association of State Boards of Education report highlights states’ initiatives with technology as a means to maximize impact across schools.
Rethinking the State Role in Instructional Materials Adoption: Opportunities for Innovation and Cost Savings is based on a NASBE Winter 2009 Forum that provided insights for State Boards of Education Members and other State Education Leaders. The update addresses the following primary questions:
- How well are state instructional materials policies serving our aims to foster excellence and equity in education?
- How cost-effective is the nearly $9 billion a year taxpayer investment in textbooks and other traditional instructional materials?
- What innovations might allow us to rethink how states invest public dollars for classroom content?
- What larger societal trends are changing expectations for the use of instructional materials in schools?
States highlighted in the report — Texas, California and Indiana — have largely looked to technological resources such as open educational resources that include materials, tools and media used for teaching and learning that are free and open for the public to use. But whichever digital resources states choose to implement, all will require support from education leaders and policymakers to maximize the effectiveness of these new technological strategies, the report emphasized.