2003 State Distance Learning Policy Study: A Non-Interpretive Analysis

Last Updated: November 01, 2003

2003 State Distance Learning Policy Study
By Vicki Hobs

In April-June, 2003 the Rural Trust partnered with the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) in conducting a study of distance learning policies in existence across the United States. The study explicitly focused on the extent and type of distance learning technologies currently used and the role of state education agencies in the creation of distance learning policies, rules, and regulations. Responses to the extensive, 10-page e-mailed survey were received from technology directors in state education agencies in 34 states, representing more than 8,500 school districts. While it is impossible from the data below to surmise the specific policies in non-responding states, it is fair to say that the state data included is highly representative of the nation as a whole and illustrative of both the successful and problematic strategies currently in place with respect to the guidance and regulation of distance learning activities in K-12 schools.

An additional caution is warranted. Because states differ widely in the type, frequency, and rigor of data collected, some responses included are, at best, informed estimates. Therefore the magnitude (and range) of responses should be given more credence than specific numbers or percentages. At the request of SETDA members, data is not associated with its state of origin in the report nor has any characterization of the findings been made.