Americans want federal programs to upgrade school broadband

LEAD, the Leading Education by Advancing Digital Commission, is a bipartisan group aiming to use “technology as a catalyst to transform and improve American education.” In early January, they commissioned a poll of some 800 voters on the subject of broadband efforts in our schools. The results were not pretty.

According to the pollsters, “Voters give the state of technology in America’s schools a decidedly mediocre C grade. Moreover, both parents and non-parents prove intensely concerned about classrooms’ lack of access to technology.”

But public sentiment is behind upgrading and building out high-speed broadband. For instance, “An overwhelming 83% of voters support a proposal to put high-speed Internet access in all American public schools within the next 5 years. Initially, 90% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans support this proposal to expand high-speed Internet access.”

To sum up, we’re not doing well, but “Expanding broadband access in schools taps into core values.  Americans of all political stripes think the reasons to support expanding broadband discussed in the poll are all important.”

But it isn’t just voters broadly who are concerned. An article from the Center for American Progress (CAP) analyzed data from the Software & Information Industry Association’s 2013 Vision K-20 Survey. CAP’s article, “Why Too Many Schools Live in an Analog World – and What We Can Do About It,” found that teachers are downbeat about broadband. CAP wrote:

“... we found that 70 percent of educators believe that there is simply not enough bandwidth in their schools. What’s more, it appears that urban schools often have the least access to bandwidth.”

Speed Matters supports a national effort to upgrade broadband in our nation’s schools.

Leading Education by Advancing Digital Commission (website)

LEAD poll results (Benenson Strategy Group, Jan. 29, 2014)

Why Too Many Schools Live in an Analog World – and What We Can Do About It (Center for American Progress, Feb. 10, 2014)

Poll: Americans give 'C' to broadband efforts in schools (WRAL Techwire, Feb. 10, 2014)