Blueprint for the Future of Public Education
The Virginia Society for Technology in Education represents over five thousand members including public school teachers, administrators, and higher education faculty. VSTE’s mission is to promote excellence in education through professional development endeavors supporting the integration of existing and emerging technologies.
The Board of Directors for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) has reviewed the Virginia Association of School Superintendents’ Blueprint for the Future of Public Education, presented October 12, 2011. VSTE supports the goals and strategies contained within the Blueprint and believes it to be a positive step toward transforming Virginia’s educational system.
VSTE supports the overall goals of the Blueprint with emphasis in the following areas:
• Recognizing how the rapid development of technology and increased focus on STEM changes the focus of public education to prepare students for a global competitive workforce;
• Recognizing the strength of the relationship between education and economic growth as technology and innovation play a larger role in competitiveness and growth;
• Emphasizing professional development using instructional technology to improve student achievement.
VSTE believes the Blueprint’s emphasis on integration of performance competencies, multiple means of assessment, and focus on grade appropriate career development experiences serve to prepare students for a global competitive market. With the rapidly changing nature of technology and an increased focus on STEM, Virginia’s students need greater access to technologies that connect them to a complete range of resources for scientific inquiry and that assist in the development of creativity and critical thinking skills.
The key to economic growth lies in investing in education. With a more educated and technologically skilled workforce, Virginia will be able to attract more industry and increase the Commonwealth’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. VASS’s Blueprint focuses on the use of evidence-based teaching and learning models that meet individual needs of diverse students. VSTE believes it is vital to secure funding for and access to virtual curriculum. Within the scope of virtual curricula, VSTE supports the development of open source materials, mobile learning opportunities, and increased support for development and implementation.
VSTE believes the Blueprint’s emphasis on human capital is an essential piece to improving Virginia’s educational system. Professional development using instructional technology is a key to improving student achievement. Virginia is one of a small number of states that have made a statewide effort to provide support for teachers and students through the Instructional Technology Resource Teacher program. While hailed as an exemplary model of technology integration, the program has seen cuts and few divisions in Virginia are able to maintain the one to one thousand pupil ratios for both instructional technology and technical staff that has been deemed necessary for effectiveness. Significant and sustained investment in instructional technology personnel and technology tools are required to prepare students for their future.
The Virginia Society for Technology in Education is proud to support the Virginia Association of School Superintendents’ Blueprint for the Future of Public Education. The future of the Commonwealth of Virginia lies within its classrooms, thus we must make investments into supporting learning experiences that will prepare students to successfully live and work in a globally competitive workforce.
On Behalf of the Virginia Society for Technology in Education Board of Directors
Karen Work Richardson, Ph.D., Executive Director, [email protected]
Heather B. Blanton, Advocacy Chair, VSTE Board of Directors, [email protected]