IUSD secures federal grant to boost college and career readiness through data, technology

The Irvine Unified School District has been awarded a $500,000 federal grant to improve college and career readiness through the use of data and technology.

The funding was secured in November through the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law by President Obama.

Chief Technology Officer Brianne Meyer said Irvine’s share will be used boost college and career readiness for students in grades seven through 12. Specifically, the dollars will enable IUSD to purchase and implement an assessment management and data warehouse system to provide teachers with real-time access to student information; designate a teacher on special assignment to coordinate professional development in the area of technology; and create additional training opportunities for teachers.

“The grant will be used to acquire technology and provide professional development to support teachers in using data to inform classroom instruction,” Meyer said.

In Orange County alone, $3.4 million was divvied among eight local districts including IUSD, according to a report in the Orange County Register. Statewide, 151 educational agencies received more than $36 million. Grants varied from $10,000 to $3 million based on the number of students enrolled in grades seven through 12. 

“These grants will help schools use data effectively to improve student achievement and close the achievement gap,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said. “With the state budget crisis continuing, our cash-strapped schools desperately need these funds as soon as possible so they can use education data and technology to better prepare students for college or careers.”