Opinion
School & District Management Opinion

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

By Marc Dean Millot — May 27, 2008 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print
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:

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

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
Curriculum Webinar
Strategies for Incorporating SEL into Curriculum
Empower students to thrive. Learn how to integrate powerful social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies into the classroom.
Content provided by Be GLAD
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
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Grad Rates Soared at a School Few Wanted to Attend. How It Happened
Leaders at this Florida high school have "learned to be flexible" to improve graduation rates.
8 min read
Student hanging on a tearing graduate cap tassel
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School & District Management Opinion Don’t Just Listen to the Loudest Voices: Resources for Ed. Leaders
These resources can help school and district leaders communicate with their communities.
Jennifer Perry Cheatham & Jenny Portillo-Nacu
5 min read
A pair of hands type on a blank slate of keys that are either falling apart or coming together on a bed of sharpened pencils.  Leadership resources.
Raul Arias for Education Week
School & District Management The Harm of School Closures Can Last a Lifetime, New Research Shows
The short-term effects on students when their schools close have been well documented. New research examines the long-term impact.
5 min read
Desks and chairs are stacked in an empty classroom after the permanent closure of Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy in Brooklyn borough of New York on Aug. 6, 2020.
Desks and chairs are stacked in an empty classroom after the permanent closure of Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy in Brooklyn borough of New York on Aug. 6, 2020. A new study examines the long-term effects on students whose schools close.
Jessie Wardarski/AP
School & District Management Video 'Students Never Forget': Principals Call for Help After School Shootings
School leaders are lobbying Congress for more financial support for schools that experience gun violence.
2 min read
Forest High School students console one another after a school shooting at Forest High School Friday, April 20, 2018 in Ocala, Fla. One student shot another in the ankle at the high school and a suspect is in custody, authorities said Friday. The injured student was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Forest High School students console one another after a school shooting at Forest High School Friday, April 20, 2018 in Ocala, Fla. One student shot another in the ankle at the high school and a suspect is in custody, authorities said Friday. The injured student was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Doug Engle/Star-Banner via AP