For the Technology Leaders section of Technology Counts 2009, the EPE Research Center collected data on 10 indicators spanning two major areas of state technology policy and practice: use and capacity. The center obtained that information from its 2008-09 school year survey of technology officials from state departments of education in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This edition of Technology Counts grades states separately on each of the two monitored categories and does not calculate a summative grade.
The use-of-technology grade is based on four individual policy indicators, which respectively capture whether a state: has standards for students that include technology; tests students on technology; has established a virtual school; and offers computer-based student assessments. In the capacity-to-use-technology category, grades are based on six measures that indicate—separately for teachers and administrators—whether a state: has technology standards for educational professionals (i.e., teachers, administrators); requires technology coursework or a test for initial professional licensure; and requires technology training or a technology test for professional recertification.
In each graded category, states receive credit for the respective policies they have enacted. Each indicator receives equal weight in the grading so that scores are proportional to the number of implemented policies. A state with all monitored policies in a category is awarded 100 points, while a state with no policies in place would receive 59 points (an F grade).
Letter grades were assigned based on the following scale: 93 to 100 percent = A; 90 to 92 percent = A-minus; 87 to 89 percent = B-plus; 83 to 86 percent = B; 80 to 82 percent = B-minus; 77 to 79 percent = C-plus; 73 to 76 percent = C; 70 to 72 percent = C-minus; 67 to 69 percent = D-plus; 63 to 66 percent = D; 60 to 62 percent = D-minus; below 60 percent = F.