Testimony written by Derek Monson and given by Stan Rasmussen Wednesday, Feb. 27, before the Senate Education Committee in support of Sen. Howard Stephenson’s Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program (SB 79):
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Sutherland Institute supports SB 79 because it empowers the pursuit of an excellent education by children, parents, and teachers rather than protecting systems, power structures, and the status quo from innovation and reform.
By encouraging district and charter schools to pursue blended learning models, SB 79 taps into the power of digital learning which, if done right, can empower children to guide their education and thereby nurture the love of learning; can empower parents to increase their involvement with their child’s education by giving them greater influence over it; and can empower teachers to become the best in the nation by using technology to take care of mundane tasks such as grading while they focus their time on actually teaching children one-on-one. A program with such potential is worth the investment of time and resources.
Further, as a pilot program, SB 79 undertakes this endeavor in a prudent and responsible way – testing it first to see what can be learned before making any attempt to roll things out more generally across the state. It is likely that this “test run” of blended learning will produce valuable lessons for all public schools whether it ultimately succeeds or fails in its broader objective.
Given both its potential and its prudence, SB 79 is a bill that deserves your vote, and we encourage you to pass it out favorably. Thank you.