Tag Archives: technology

Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: Aug. 26, 2016

Here’s a look at some stories that made news this week in the world of Texas education:

ThinkstockPhotos-185034697_gavelcashTexas’s much-maligned standardized tests were once again the focus of media attention this week. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced this week that it is imposing harsh financial penalties against the vendor that administers the state’s STAAR tests after a number of problems occurred during test administrations this spring. Also this week, a judge assigned to a lawsuit filed by parents objecting to the STAAR test refused to grant the state’s motion to have that case dismissed. Read more about the latest STAAR-related developments in this week’s blog post from ATPE Lobbyist Monty Exter. Exter also discussed the testing company fines in an interview with KVUE News, which you can view here.


Texas lawmakers involved in the biennial budget-writing process are starting to look more closely at education funding as the 85th legislative session approaches. ATPE Lobbyist Josh Sanderson and ATPE Political Involvement Coordinator Edwin Ortiz attended a meeting this week of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Article III, which oversees the education portion of the state budget. Wednesday’s hearing was a discussion of an interim charge dealing with public education programs that are funded outside the Foundation School Program (FSP). Learn more about the hearing in our blog post from yesterday.


ATPE_Logo_Stacked_Tag_ColorATPE members and employees have been showcased in a number of media features this week with the start of a new school year. Round Rock ATPE member Stephanie Stoebe talked to KEYE TV in Austin about how she engages students using popular “Pokemon Go” characters. Stoebe also joined ATPE Executive Director Gary Godsey on Time Warner Cable Austin to discuss how the use of technology in the classroom can also increase opportunities for bullying. They urged educators and parents to talk to children about the risks of cyberbullying, which some lawmakers hope to address in the upcoming legislative session. Also on TWC news, a number of ATPE members contributed to a recent story about how teachers can talk to their students about difficult currrent events, such as problems of racism and violent attacks. ATPE Lobbyist Monty Exter also talked to KSAT about new education laws that are taking effect this school year. Be sure to follow @TeachtheVote on Twitter and ATPE on Facebook for coverage of these and other stories about how ATPE members are making a difference in the lives of students.



New public, private investments announced for ConnectEd

President Obama highlighted his ConnectEd initiative, unveiled last year, during his recent State of the Union address. Initiative goals include connecting 99 percent of American students with next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless Internet within five years, increasing technology support and training for educators, and encouraging private companies to produce innovative educational technology resources.

During his address, the president announced a new development: The Federal Communications Commission will commit $2 billion to the initiative over the next two years; plus, an additional $750 million in private investments will support ConnectEd in various ways.

How might private investments be used? Here are a few examples:

  • AT&T and Sprint will offer mobile and wireless Internet at middle and high schools around the country. Sprint’s commitment will target low-income students both at home and at school, while some of AT&T’s investment will be used for teacher professional development.
  • Microsoft Office will offer schools its Windows operating system at a discounted price.
  • Apple will donate iPads, MacBooks and other products to schools and provide educator training on those devices.
  • AutoDesk will provide every school in the country with its support software, Design the Future.

The White House reports that fewer than 20 percent of educators consider their schools’ Internet access adequate for teaching needs and that only 30 percent of American schools have the broadband speed they need to prepare students using today’s technology.

Learn more about the ConnectEd initiative on this White House fact sheet.