Originally published: September 30, 2008
Last updated: September 30, 2008 - 7:05pm
Schools across the United States soon could have online access to a vast amount of educational content from public television archives to help raise student achievement, if a new bill called the Ready to Compete Act (HR 6856) is enacted. Co-sponsored by Reps John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Ray LaHood (R-IL), the bill would reauthorize two existing federal programs: Ready to Learn, which aims to improve literacy by encouraging the creation of educational public TV programming, and Ready to Teach, which intends to boost teacher quality through the development and use of public TV content for teacher professional development. In addition, the bill would create two new programs: Ready to Achieve and Ready to Earn. Ready to Achieve would create a national, on-demand, online digital media service that would allow teachers to access public television's extensive archives of educational content. Ready to Earn would allow stations to create new resources to address the needs of adult learners in a changing economy. The goal behind both of these new initiatives is to prepare learners more effectively for the 21st century workforce by tapping into the potential of digital technologies to explore science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines, as well as history, literacy, and other subjects. The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) believes public television is uniquely suited to help bridge in-school and out-of-school learning by providing educational services anytime, anywhere.