By Andrea Castillo, JMI Intern & Florida State University Senior in Economics
While last week’s Madison Movie Night featuring The Cartel focused on the many problems with the United States’ traditional education system, new reforms that are occurring around the nation should give hope to weary parents who are ready for a change. Former Governors Jeb Bush (R-Florida) and Bob Wise (D-West Virginia) have teamed up to form Digital Learning Now!, an education reform group that aims to integrate technology and choice into our school system in order to improve educational outcomes for our nation’s children.Last Friday, this group unveiled their Roadmap for Reform, a national report that will provide governors and legislatures with common sense reforms for transitioning schools into a more student-centered, technology-driven system that produces results. The report focuses on three core principles necessary to improve the nations’ schools: customization and success for all students, a robust offering of high quality options, and 21st century infrastructure.The Roadmap for Reform isolated “10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning” that need to be implemented by lawmakers in order to see meaningful change in the nation’s educational outcomes. Instead of simply suggesting that policymakers throw money at the problem, Digital Learning Now! suggests explicit policy changes that bring the focus back on the student and his or her individual needs in the classroom. In fact, most of the 10 Elements specifically stress the need for personalized learning as opposed to the typical one-size fits-all solutions.With their focus on individualized education and technological integration, Digital Learning Now! is bringing fresh ideas to a critical debate. With U.S. test scores stagnating and global competition heating up, it is clear that it’s time to bring our schools into the digital age.