Opinion
Markets Opinion

School Improvement of RFP of the Week (2): First Steps To a Federal Infrastructure for K-12 Online?

May 27, 2008 3 min read
From Tuesday’s issue of K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets ReportAnnouncement: Professional Development Module Due May 30 (May 21) US Department of Education

Their Description:

The U.S. Department of Education’s, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program is a State formula-grant program.... to enable community learning centers to have the ability to plan, implement, or expand after-school learning enrichment opportunities to help students meet State and local standards.... 21st CCLC programs must primarily serve children who attend schools identified with high-poverty... giving priority to... children in low-performing schools....

The... Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) intends to establish a contract that will be used provide continued technical assistance through a professional development module to help State and local programs throughout the country design and implement research-based, effective afterschool learning opportunities for children primarily in high-poverty, low-performing schools. [T]he contractor shall design professional development databases and modules using a hybrid of distance learning techniques, train the trainer techniques, and regional study circles to increase the capacity of local 21st CCLC project and program directors to use nationally recognized best practices to improve the academic outcomes of their participating students.... The main deliverable of this contract will be an interactive web portal encompassing several distinct sections.

• A technology-based, user-centric one-stop infrastructure that includes a virtual gateway for State coordinators and sub-grantees to select academic and learning strategies, classroom instructional materials, staff and instructional training modules, best business practices, and program evaluation tools;

• Evaluation strategies and tools that will eliminate duplication, and enhance quality and consistency across the program;

• A large and robust online learning and professional development system that will provide increased, consistent, customized, and focused afterschool information and strategies for the entire 21st CCLC community;

• A communication tool that includes access to State 21st CCLC activity calendars, message boards, blackboards, meeting-conference webinar access, and other community-driven communication tools;

• A virtual gateway for States and sub-grantees to select from a menu of comprehensive, innovative, and creative best practices and professional development training modules that are specific to the needs of the respective State and/or sub-grantee programs.

• Several aspects of this contract require strong collaboration and coordination among distinct entities involved in the model identification and dissemination process. Additionally, the contractor must have access to and be knowledgeable of the information and materials pertaining to after-school programs to ensure that it has the capabilities to be thoroughly familiar with existing literature on effective afterschool content-area curriculum, specifically in the areas of reading, mathematics, and science and professional development.

My Thoughts: Today, firms like Blackboard and K12 own the k-12 information turnpike, on and off ramps, filling stations, rest stops, long-haul vehicles, and much of its workforce. Other things being equal, such bundling makes for higher profit margins.

Once the federal government purchases this “module” (See also NASA’s Electronic Professional Development Project) it can grow beyond after-school and professional development. When/if the feds own the channel, service and content become king and the fragmentation of market providers inevitable. Prices and profits will fall.

Oh, and whether you like the scenario or hate it, protest the time line.

Related Tags:
Education Market

The opinions expressed in edbizbuzz are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Washington Data Processing Representative - (WAVA)
Tacoma, Washington, United States
K12 Inc.
Software Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Proposal Writer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Read Next

Markets New Magazine Seeks to Bring 'Civil Discourse' to Education Debate
Headed up by former Los Angeles superintendent John E. Deasy, The Line will feature a variety of viewpoints on major K-12 issues.
4 min read
The Line magazine, whose debut print issue is seen above, will present an array of viewpoints on pressing K-12 issues.
The Line magazine, whose debut print issue is seen above, will present an array of viewpoints on pressing K-12 issues.
Markets News in Brief Publishers Get Poor Marks on Common-Core Math Texts
The curriculum-review website EdReports.org has released its first round of results for high school math textbooks, and three of the major publishers performed poorly.
1 min read
Markets McGraw-Hill Education Pulls Textbook Amid Criticism Over Middle East Map
A series of maps in a comparative politics textbook purporting to show Palestinian loss of land enraged pro-Israel groups.
Leo Doran
4 min read
Markets News in Brief Amazon to Launch Website For Open Resources
Amazon Education is working on a new platform that will allow schools to upload, manage, share, and discover open education resources from a home page that in some ways resembles the one shoppers are accustomed to accessing on the massive online retailer's website.
1 min read