To date, California and Oregon are the only two states in the country that have offered official guidance on artificial intelligence to school districts this fall, something that teachers have been pleading for as they’ve yet to become comfortable enough to use it in the classroom.
That’s according to new research from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research organization at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. The organization requested updates from all 51 states on their approach to AI guidance, and besides the two that have already offered school support in this area, an additional 11 say they’re in the process of developing guidance; 21 states have provided details about their approach but don’t plan to offer schools any guidance in the foreseeable future; the remaining 17 (or one-third) didn’t respond to the CRPE’s request and don’t have any guidance publicly available at the moment.
While there’s still significant progress to be made, it’s still a considerable shift in development considering the CRPE’s last national scan revealed that not a single state had released any official communication supporting schools as they learn to navigate AI. Yet, a majority of states still have no plans to modify their strategies for AI guidance for schools this year.
How these 2 states are leading the way
Most guidances surrounding AI in education focus primarily on the ethical and equity implications, recommendations for students and teachers and best practices that aim to enhance instruction, according to the CRPE’s analysis. Take, for instance, California and Oregon. Here’s how they’re supporting school districts this year:
The state’s guidance, Artificial Intelligence: Learning with AI, Learning about AI, identifies equity and bias as two primary issues educators may face while using AI. Additionally, California describes how AI could help bridge the equity and diversity workforce gap, particularly in STEM fields.
“By integrating AI education with a focus on diversity and inclusion, we can pave the way for a more equitable future in these disciplines,” the guidance reads.
It also offers district leaders some recommendations on how to evaluate AI systems and encourages them to develop AI concepts and computer science standards for schools.
Oregon’s Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in K12 Classrooms document highlights the potential implications surrounding equity and offers a variety of strategies to address its impacts. It also discusses some data privacy implications, how to use AI to support students and teachers and addresses policy considerations for district leaders.
This research comes soon after the Biden administration issued an executive order on AI, which will lead to updated resources and guidance from the Department of Education for schools across the U.S. But that won’t be for another year, the CRPE notes. For now, it’s up to the states to encourage responsible and equitable use of AI in school systems.
“The longer that states wait to provide guidance, the more ground they’ll have to cover when they do—and AI isn’t waiting for anyone,” the analysis concludes.