From Education Week: As school districts strive to put more technology into schools to support 1-to-1 computing initiatives and prepare for the common-core online assessments, the federal E-rate program is in danger of becoming as outdated and insufficient as a sputtering dial-up connection in a Wi-Fi world. While the program can boast great success since its inception – just 14 percent of schools were connected to the Internet when the E-rate was launched in 1996, compared with near-universal access today – it is now at risk of buckling under the weight of districts’ technological demands in the age of laptops, tablets, smartphones, and 24/7 online activity. The strains are likely to get even more acute as most states prepare to give assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Those tests, slated to debut in 2014-15, will require hefty connectivity capabilities. Recent technical difficulties with online testing in some states highlight the need for better, more reliable technologies in schools.

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