A majority of American adults rate the current state of technology in U.S. public schools with a mediocre C grade or worse and fully support the implementation of better access to high-speed Internet in classrooms to help improve that grade, according to a poll conducted by the LEAD Commission and Benenson Strategy Group.
Both parents and nonparents believe the current lack of access to acceptable technology renders students unprepared to compete on a global scale or obtain the necessary technology skills to succeed in 21st century jobs.
“We are pleased to see the public shares our concern and support for increasing access to technology in classrooms,” Common Sense Media CEO and LEAD Commissioner and Founder Jim Steyer said in a statement. “Technology access is not just an education issue; it’s a global economic issue. We agree that more must be done to allow American teachers and students to remain globally competitive.”
Investing in high-speed Internet access for public schools is believed to be mandatory in helping develop the next generation of innovative leaders in the United States, according to the report. There is a concern that American students will continue to fall behind children in other countries, especially those in rural areas, if this does not change soon.
Most notably, respondents to the poll still supported expanding broadband access after they were told they would have to pay out of pocket to support the program through a temporary fee charged through their cellphones (users would pay roughly $4 a year for three years.)
This report was released shortly after the FCC announced that it plans to double the proportion of E-Rate funds by $2 billion a year to help build up high-speed Internet access in schools, and not long after President Obama said that “several private American companies” are planning to invest more than half a billion dollars into broadband expansion. (Read more about these issues in our Marketplace K-12 blog.)
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.