New Nebraska state education commissioner wants adaptable schools

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, December 23, 2013

Nebraska's new education commissioner is promising to push for a larger state role in helping schools adapt to new technology and track student performance.

Matthew Blomstedt said he wants to build a state data system that's more organized and easier for schools to use, so they can monitor student progress. Districts are overwhelmed with student data, he said, and the information they receive is difficult to apply in the classroom.

"Kindergarteners that enter this year or next year, they don't know a world without iPads," Blomstedt said. "Schools aren't designed to change quickly, so we're going to have to build systems that help us change when we need to respond. We can only do that at scale. Otherwise everyone scrambles around, trying to build their own system. I think we have an opportunity to share those experiences."

The State Board of Education unanimously chose Blomstedt, of Central City, this month. He replaces former commissioner Roger Breed, who retired earlier this year.

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