A coalition of 20 education advocacy groups are upset that the federal Institute of Education Sciences hasn’t produced a legally mandated report on students’ access to digital learning outside of school.
The findings are urgently needed now, the group says, because of the Federal Communications Commission’s current efforts to weaken the Lifeline program, which proponents say is crucial to closing the “homework gap” between students who do and do not have high-speed internet access at home.
The study was supposed to be released by last June. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Education, in which IES is housed, said the report is currently undergoing scientific review and will be released in March or April.
At issue is a provision of the federal, signed into law in December 2015, that directs IES to produce a report on “student home access to digital learning” within 18 months.
For years, education-focused advocacy groups have lamented the “homework gap.” Most schools now regularly assign online homework, their argument goes, but many students still lack the home internet access they need to complete it.
A version of this article appeared in the February 14, 2018 edition of Education Week as Education Dept. Tardy on Issuing Study of ‘Homework Gap,’ Advocacy Groups Say