Calcasieu schools make ‘notable’ digital technology gains, officials say

BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - Calcasieu is one of several school districts in the state making notable digital technology gains, according to the Louisiana Department of Education.

According to a news release from state education officials, 54 out of 58 Calcasieu schools now meet the 7:1 recommended standards, and 48 of the schools meet the higher 3:1 recommended standards.

Officials released updated reports on the progress of technology readiness in the state through Louisiana's Technology Footprint on Thursday.

Officials said the reports provide an analysis of network, bandwidth and device requirements necessary for every school and school district to be fully digital ready by 2014-2015, when all state tests will be delivered online.

Officials said the data, updated from the first reports released last July, indicates districts have made significant progress toward preparing for the transition to online assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

"In only six months, the number of districts with sufficient devices based on minimum standards to administer online tests in 2014-2015 rose from 5 to 17. Additionally, five districts have enough devices to test based on the higher bar of 'recommended standards.' In order to meet 2014-2015 testing guidelines, districts will need to purchase or upgrade computers and other devices that do not currently meet the minimum hardware specifications," the release states.

Officials said districts and schools have worked to upgrade and enhance the technology available through classroom devices, Internet connections and networks.

Officials added that based on Louisiana's Technology Footprint, 82,754 devices meet the new standards, an increase from 67,038 six months ago.

Districts now only need to purchase an additional 14,913 devices, down from 37,000 in July, to meet the 7:1 recommended student-to-computer ratio for testing, officials said.

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