Bill would boost public TV’s learning power

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 (H.R. 6856) is enacted.

Co-sponsored by Reps. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., and Ray LaHood, R-Ill., 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.…Read More

Congress set to weigh in on key tech issues

Technology and telecommunications issues will be on Capitol Hill’s radar in the months ahead as lawmakers attempt to influence regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and frame the debate for next year’s Congress. Among the issues at the top of the agenda: subsidies for telephone service in underserved areas, "net neutrality," and online privacy.

With a lame-duck Congress and the Senate Commerce Committee still regrouping following the July indictment of its top Republican, Alaska’s Ted Stevens, it’s unlikely lawmakers will produce much legislation upon returning from summer recess. But Congress doesn’t need to pass bills to influence tech and telecom policy, said Stanford Washington Research Group analyst Paul Gallant.

A prime example is the battle over proposed "net neutrality" rules, which would prohibit broadband providers from discriminating against or favoring internet traffic flowing over their networks.…Read More