ISTE Is Storming the Hill
By Hilary Goldmann
ISTE's director of
government affairs, has
20 years of experience
in public policy and
advocacy, and serves as
a volunteer columnist
Congratulations to all ISTE members on
our advocacy efforts for the first half of
this year! We sent thousands of e-mails
to Capitol Hill through the Education Technology Action Network (ETAN), and that translated
into a dedicated funding stream for classroom
technology and professional development in
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
(ARRA). The Achievement Through Technology
and Innovation Act was introduced in the House
and the Senate with strong bipartisan support.
Now we are in the midst of advocating for FY10
funding for the Enhancing Education Through
Technology (EETT) program and the Preparing
Teachers for Digital Age Learners program.
With NECC in Washington, D.C., we couldn’t
have timed this activity better. ISTE is leveraging
this opportunity to take advantage of our collective voices at the nation’s capital. For the first
time ever, NECC attendees will “storm the Hill”
to meet with members of Congress and ask them
to provide students with the technology, the information skills, and the tools necessary for success in the 21st century. Show support for your
NECC colleagues who are making the Hill visits
and cheer them on if you see them wearing blue
“Invest in 21st Century Learning with Technology” T-shirts at the convention center. We hope
to be a sea of blue on the Hill!
Congratulations to Sheryl Abshire of Calca-sieu Parish Public Schools, Louisiana, who is
past-president of the Louisiana Association of
Computer Using Educators. We will honor her
at NECC as the first recipient of ISTE’s Public
Policy Advocate of the Year Award. We will also
recognize Jennifer Bergland of Bryan Independent School District and Texas Computer Education Association, and Christopher Johnson of
the Arizona Technology in Education Alliance as
trendsetters in public policy advocacy.
Don’t miss the concurrent session, The Economic Stimulus Package, Obama’s Education
Plan, and other Policy Activity, set for 12: 30 p.m.
Monday, June 29, at NECC. We will focus on
the ARRA funds that should now be flowing to
schools, how ISTE members are using this additional funding for 21st-century learning, and how
you can, too. We’ll also focus on the new U.S.
administration and high-profile policy issues.
Finally, we’ll share strategies for how to become
involved in advocacy.
The NECC experience is not complete without
visiting the ETAN booth—now a destination
at the conference. Please stop by to make your
voice heard by sending an e-mail to your representatives in Congress, and don’t forget to enter
the raffle. Some NECC attendees find the booth
so much fun that they stick around and volunteer. Please visit us!
ISTE is collecting data about how schools and
districts are using the ARRA monies for technology and professional development purchases.
Make sure to complete this important survey
at www.iste.org/arra-survey. Also, continue to
check my blog on the ISTE Community Ning at
www.iste.org/goldmann. I keep it updated with
the latest policy information on 21st-century
learning from inside the Beltway.