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Estimated costs for implementing ISTE Standards in Massachusetts

The cost to train teachers and administrators to meet the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards:


Assumptions and Facts:

  1. There are 94,317 teachers (regular education, SPED, technical), 1428 principals (and assistants, 370 superintendents, 228[1] assistant/associate superintendents and directors in the Commonwealth at this time.


  1. Sixty-eight percent[2]of the in-service teaching force reports using technology for instruction nearly every day or about once a week


  1. About fifty percent requires training to meet the ISTE standards.


  1. These statistics also reflect administrators who must supervise and evaluate teachers' use of technology.


  1. The ISTE standards cover what educators need to know to use technology in instruction in meaningful and productive ways.


  1. Training would take place over three years to make the costs and the provision of training manageable.


  1. Each school district delivers technology professional development differently depending on its structure, and so statewide cost figures must be recalculated for individual districts.


Financial factors:

  1. As part of MA education reform, $125 per student has been targeted for professional development each year. Unfortunately not this year.


  1. Schools are required to provide a no-cost option for teachers to get recertified.


  1. Teachers who provide training get double PDPs for this service, the first time it is offered.


  1. To reduce costs, teachers in the district who are knowledgeable can, for the incentive stated above, offer PD to colleagues.


  1. In FY 2002 on average, $296 per student[3] was spent by districts on total technology expenditures.
  2. Of that $296, 25% (or $74) is encouraged by the DOE to be spent on Professional Development.


  1. It costs $2000 a year to train an educator. There are 96,343 educators in MA; if one third were trained each year for the next three, it would cost a total of $33 million a year.[4]



If the one fourth of the $125 ($31.25) allocated to PD were mandated to be spent on reaching the ISTE standards, and the 25% of NCLB money (most districts will receive some entitlement and some competitive allocations) is spent on PD to meet the ISTE standards, there would not be a need for any additional funding to ensure the standards are met. That is, no additional money would be necessary to train current educators over the next three years to meet the ISTE standards.


There are one million students in the Commonwealth. If the $31.25 from the $125 per student were actually spent on technology PD, it would mean at least $31,250,000 would be available each year for training to meet the ISTE standards.


Other recommendations: 

(1) Educators need time to be legitimately allocated to professional development. Fifteen days of training in one year may not be realistic, given the difficulty of obtaining substitute teachers. It may be more feasible to train each cadre over two summers, plus release days during the years to follow up.


(2) Some self-assessment of teachers' and administrators' needs and skills prior to

training is desirable, as well as a post assessment, so that we know that money has not been wasted.


(3) If outside vendors are used to provide training, they must be certified by meeting ISTE standards. A reasonable and less costly alternative is to capitalize on internal expertise and collaboration with higher education.


Since more well-trained professionals will result in increased use of technology, there will need to be commensurate infrastructure improvement. A possible amelioration is to provide laptops to trainees as part of their compensation for summer workshops


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[1] Figures from the MA DOE July 2003

[2] Ed Tech 2002 states (p3) that 41% use it “nearly every day” and 27% use it “about once a week”. We base the 50% figure on conversation and observation.

[3] EdTech 2002 page 6

[4] We arrive at these metrics in the following manner:

(a) 15 days per teacher over one or two  calendar years, tailored to people’s competence level (8 in the summer @$100 a day and 7 during the school year (@$75 a substitute a day) and $600 for training)= $2K a teacher

(b)  96,343 educators X$2K=$200M  2=$100M 3=$33M.

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