Alliance for Excellent Education Receives $300,000 Contribution from AT&T to Support School Districts Serving Underserved Students

Feb 21, 2018

Twelve School Districts Will Be Able to Better Plan and Implement Digital Learning Strategies That Improve Learning Outcomes for Students Thanks to Future Ready Schools Digital Equity Program

WASHINGTON, DC—The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed), with generous support from AT&T, launched a new pilot program for twelve school districts enrolling high percentages of historically underserved students. The Future Ready Schools® (FRS) Digital Equity Program, led by All4Ed, will provide school district leaders with resources, leadership strategies, and other support to better plan and implement a digital learning strategy that improves learning outcomes for all students. The pilot program was announced today by FRS at a retreat involving senior-level leadership from the twelve districts selected.

“Leaders from the twelve school districts selected for the Future Ready Schools (FRS) Digital Equity Program have demonstrated their commitment to modernize their schools, support their teachers, and identify modern learning opportunities that engage their students and improve learning outcomes,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “Thanks to a $300,000 contribution from AT&T, the FRS Digital Equity Program will help school district leaders identify their needs and craft a comprehensive plan that incorporates a research-based digital strategy and results in sound purchasing decisions. Such an approach ensures a smoother implementation and greater likelihood of success.”

The twelve school districts selected are in some of America’s smallest towns to its largest cities and represent rural, suburban, and urban districts. Districts range in size from Newport School District in Arkansas, which serves about 1,400 students, to Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, which serves more than 130,000 students. Districts selected for the FRS Digital Equity Program include the following:

  • Colton Joint Unified School District (Colton, California)
  • Florence Township School District (Burlington County, New Jersey)
  • Harrison School District Two (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
  • Highline School District (Burien, Washington)
  • Newburgh Enlarged City School District (Newburgh, New York)
  • Newport School District (Newport, Arkansas)
  • Oceanside Unified School District (San Diego, California)
  • Pontotoc County School District (Pontotoc, Mississippi)
  • Prince George’s County Public Schools (Upper Marlboro, Maryland)
  • Rowland Unified School District (Rowland Heights, California)
  • Sioux City Community School District (Sioux City, Iowa)
  • Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District (Yucaipa, California)

In addition to today’s day-long retreat and subsequent face-to-face and virtual workshops and meetings, leaders representing these school districts will form a strong network that shares resources, captures best practices, and identifies additional support targeted to their specific needs. FRS will also assist these districts in completing customized, collaborative, and actionable implementation plans using the FRS interactive planning dashboard.

“On behalf of Future Ready Schools, we’re excited to work with these districts to identify practical ways to address challenges that often restrict students’ opportunities to engage in a rigorous, flexible, and engaging learning environment,” said Avril Smart, PhD, research and engagement manager for FRS. “This program will allow FRS to learn from experiences of district leaders who have begun to address digital equity in their schools and apply that knowledge to strategic planning for more successful digital transition efforts.”

As part of a $300,000 contribution from AT&T, the FRS Digital Equity Program will ensure that these districts create more equitable opportunities for all students to access benefits that digital learning provides.

“Technology is making it easier for students—regardless of age, gender, income, or geography—to learn anytime, anywhere,” said Nicole Anderson, AT&T ‎assistant vice president of corporate social responsibility. “Through our collaboration with the Future Ready Schools initiative, we’ve seen firsthand the powerful role technology can play in personalizing learning and improving student outcomes. The new Digital Equity Program will bring that power to even more underserved students and help us identify and scale best practices across the country.”

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring all students, particularly those historically underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.www.all4ed.org

Future Ready Schools® (FRS) is a bold effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship. FRS provides districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities. FRS is led by the Alliance for Excellent Education alongside a vast coalition of organizations. www.futureready.org

About Philanthropy and Social Innovation at AT&T: AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities, and improving lives. We have a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. Our AT&T Aspire initiative uses innovation in education to drive student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $400 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships, and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.

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