$15 Million in Grants Awarded to Help States Study Technology’s Impact on Student Achievement

November 12, 2003

November 10, 2003
Contact: Susan Aspey
(202) 401-1576

U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige today announced that nine states will share $15 million in grants to conduct rigorous, scientific evaluations of how technology impacts student achievement in elementary and secondary education, which will in turn assist other states and school districts with evaluating their own education technology programs.

The competitive, three-year grants are part of the No Child Left Behind Act’s Enhancing Education Through Technology (Ed Tech) program, and are intended to increase states’ ability to design, conduct and acquire high-quality evaluations of education technology. A complete list of grant recipients, award amounts and program descriptions follows at the end of this release.

“These grants will help us better understand how various technologies are making a difference in teaching and learning,” Secretary Paige said. “As the Web-based Education Commission noted, we need to study the impact of technology in education. We don’t want the mere acquisition of advanced education technologies to be the end game — we want it to be the starting point to apply proven strategies to develop more effective teaching and boost student achievement.”

Grant recipients are required to plan and conduct an evaluation of how their education program uses technology to increase student achievement in one or more core academic subjects; to test and document the methods, practices and instruments used to assess the impact of the technology on student achievement; and to share this information with other states.

The Ed Tech program aims to use technology to promote the goals and principles of President Bush’s sweeping education reform law, the No Child Left Behind Act. The goals of Ed Tech are to ensure that every student is technologically literate by the end of eighth grade, to encourage effective technology integration with teacher training and curriculum development and to establish successful research-based instructional methods.

No Child Left Behind is designed to change the culture of America’s schools by closing the achievement gap, offering more flexibility, giving parents more options and teaching students based on what works. Under the act’s strong accountability provisions, states must describe how they will close the achievement gap and make sure all students, including those who are disadvantaged, achieve academic proficiency. In addition, they must produce annual state and school district report cards that inform parents and communities about state and school progress.

Schools that do not make adequate progress after two years must provide public school choice; followed by supplemental services, such as free tutoring or after-school assistance; then take corrective actions; and, if still not making adequate yearly progress after five years, make dramatic changes to the way the school is run.

The department’s Office of Educational Technology provides leadership to maximize technology’s contribution to improving education. The office develops national educational technology policy and implements the policy throughout the department in support of the No Child Left Behind Act. The office also helps ensure that the department’s programs are coordinated with efforts throughout the federal government.

More information about the No Child Left Behind Act, Ed Tech grants and the Office of Educational Technology is available at www.ed.gov.


Arkansas Department of Education
Contact: James Boardman, (501) 371-5005
Evaluation of the EAST Initiative (Environmental and Spatial Technology)
$1.8 million over three years
This project will assess the nature, quality and intensity EAST program implementation strategies and processes and their relative outcomes on teachers’ attitudes, classroom practices and content knowledge, and students’ attitudes, skills, and achievement. EAST involves the creation of interdisciplinary school-based technology labs that promote student intellectual growth and technology skills acquisition and teacher training on facilitating student learning through service projects and teamwork. The study will involve 120 projects serving 9,000 students (55% rural, 25% suburban and 20% urban settings). Study results will yield deeper insights into specific participant, environmental and program characteristics that appear to influence student outcomes. In addition, an evaluation sustainability study will assess the extent to which the project’s dissemination and capacity building activities are serving the capacity of Arkansas and other states to plan, conduct and procure high-quality evaluations.

Iowa Department of Education
Contact: John O’Connell, (515) 242-6354
Using Technology to Support the Scaling-Up of the Iowa Professional Development Model
$1.9 million over three years
This project will use the Iowa-adopted professional development model based on best practices as the basis for scaling-up an educational intervention system using experimental, quasi-experimental randomized classroom trials, and will seek to demonstrate that scientifically based teacher training on best practices using technology must be causally linked to the implementation of those practices in the classroom in order for the impact to be observed in student achievement in math and reading. This multi-agency, statewide field research effort will focus on reading and mathematics instructional practice in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades in 150 public school districts, including 43 high need districts as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act. The project will yield a research model for identifying and scaling up teacher training on best practices.

Maine Department of Education
Contact: Bette Manchester, (207) 624-6784
The Impact of Teachers’ Professional Development on the Mathematics Achievement of Low-Performing Rural Students in Technology-Rich Classrooms
$1.9 million over three years
The Maine evaluation will use an experimental design with randomized assignment of schools to treatment and control conditions to investigate the impact of intensive, multi-faceted professional development on teacher classroom practices, student and teacher use of technology to enhance mathematics learning and student mathematics achievement. The study will focus on 7th and 8th grade students in schools that serve low-income rural communities and that have shown low performance in 8th grade mathematics. The study promises to contribute to research-based knowledge of effective practices in mathematics education and technology integration, ubiquitous computing, professional development and education in low-income rural schools.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Contact: Frances Bryant Bradburn, (919) 807-3292

LANCET: Looking at North Carolina Educational Technology

$1.5 million over three years
The LANCET project will use experimental, quasi-experimental and case study designs to study the implementation of the state’s IMPACT model and its effects on schools, teaching practices and student achievement. IMPACT is a professional development model. The project will develop and assess strategies for building the capacity for educators across the state to collect, analyze and use evaluation data for making decisions about technology programs, projects and practices, and will disseminate the strategies, methods, instruments and protocols used in and resulting from the project.

Pennsylvania Department of Education
Contact: Nicole Nikovich, (717) 346-4216
Evaluation of Student and Parent Access Through Recycled Computers (eSPARC)
$1.8 million over three years
The eSPARC study project seeks to develop and test an evaluation model that can be used by local and state educational agencies to measure the impact of educational technology initiatives. The project will randomly assign recycled computers to a sample of 400 5th grade students and their families. The study will assess the whether and how in-home computer and Internet access impacts students and parents, and will produce and disseminate research methods and tools that can be used to measure the impact of technology initiatives across program areas.

Tennessee Department of Education
Contact: Jerry Bates, (615) 532-6287
The Tennessee EdTech Accountability Model (TEAM)
$1.7 million over three years
The project will measure effectiveness of an intervention to prepare school-based technology coaches to work with teachers on methods of aligning technology use to the delivery of the curriculum using instructional materials that foster increased student achievement. The project will measure effectiveness of the intervention in 37 schools; develop a replicable, validated evaluation protocol for use in all schools and disseminate the results and instruments nationally.

Texas Education Agency
Contact: Anita Givens, (512) 463-9400
Evaluation of the Texas Technology Immersion Pilot (eTxTIP)
$1.9 million over three years
TxTIP is a state mandated technology immersion pilot that seeks to increase student achievement by providing each student with a wireless mobile computing device, software and online and other learning resources. The TxTIP evaluation will test the effectiveness of technology immersion in increasing middle school students’ achievement in core academic subjects, technology proficiency, attitudes and attendance, as well as the effect on the school environment, personnel and parent and community partnerships. Approximately 38,000 students and 2,700 teachers in about 60 randomly assigned middle schools will participate in the evaluation.

West Virginia Department of Education
Contact: Brenda Williams, (304) 558-7880
ED PACE: Educational Development for Planning and Conducting Evaluations
$1.4 million over three years
The ED PACE will employ a quasi-experimental design with experimental elements to assess student achievement in virtual foreign language courses as compared to the achievement of students in classroom based foreign language courses. Over the course of three years, the project will generate three scientifically based research models (a summative research model, a formative research model and an action research model) that can be replicated in other settings used at local, state and national levels to measure the impact of other technology enhanced interventions on student achievement and validate their effectiveness.

The Evaluation of West Virginia’s Enhancing Education Through Technology Model School Project
$1.3 million over three years
This project will assess the outcomes for teachers and students of West Virginia’s ESEA Title II, Part D school-based teacher trainer initiative. The study will employ an experimental research design and make use of technology based desktop meters and random interval data collection pop-up screens to document the use, time, topic and function budgets of teachers and students. These methods will yield objective, detailed information about classroom integration of technology as an outcome of professional development and the impact of technology integration practices on student performance on West Virginia’s tests of standards-based content. In year three, data from the study will be used to explore the extent to which state policy makers use evaluation data to inform their decisions.

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Contact: Neah Lohr, (608) 266-3856
A Study of the Effectiveness of Three Models of Implementing Educational Technology
$1.6 million over three years
The Wisconsin project will: (a) identify from existing data three promising models of educational technology use in schools in the state, (b) implement the models using the Title II, Part D competitive grant process, (c) and evaluate the effectiveness of the models on student achievement using quasi-experimental methods to assign experimental and control group, and student portfolios, student self-reports, and standards-based knowledge assessments to measure student achievement.