Superintendent Tom Torlakson Recipient of CENIC’s 2015 Innovations In Networking Award
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is being honored by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) as a recipient of the 2015 Innovations in Networking Award for Broadband Applications.
Superintendent Torlakson is being recognized by CENIC for his commitment and dedication to enhancing schools’ high-speed broadband connectivity and incorporation of technology in education. He has pushed for modernization of the federal E-rate program, which provides discounts of up to 90% to help eligible schools and libraries in the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and internet access. Superintendent Torlakson also secured $1.25 billion in funding for Common Core State Standards implementation as well as $26.7 million for the Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant (BIIG) program, which will enhance broadband infrastructure for school sites with the most severe infrastructure deficits. With bandwidth-hungry applications like online assessments, rich media, and participation in remote events becoming ever more common in classrooms, broadband access has established itself as a vital necessity for education, and will become even more so as the pace of innovation continues.
In 2014, Superintendent Torlakson also released his Empowering Learning: California Education Technology Blueprint, 2014 – 2017 which focuses on harnessing 21st century tools to improve teaching and learning so that no child is left offline. Without information from reports such as this, and support from programs like E-rate and BIIG, students, faculty, and staff at schools with severe deficits risk being permanently left behind.
“Superintendent Torlakson’s leadership at the federal and state level as well his influence on CENIC’s Board of Directors has been instrumental in improving broadband connectivity for schools. California’s K-12 schools have in him a valuable champion for bringing the state’s public education into the 21st century, and by this, empowering California to maintain its global leadership position in innovation,” stated Louis Fox, President and CEO of CENIC.
Since 2011, Superintendent Torlakson has served as California’s 27th State Superintendent of Public Instruction. As chief of California’s public school system and leader of the California Department of Education, Superintendent Torlakson applies his experience as a science teacher, high school coach, and state policymaker to fight for California’s students and improve the state’s public education system.
Innovations in Networking Awards are presented each year by CENIC to highlight the exemplary innovations that leverage ultra high-bandwidth networking, particularly where those innovations have the potential to revolutionize the ways in which instruction and research are conducted or where they further the deployment in underserved areas.