Four states offer four unique approaches to procurement


The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) released a new resource Tuesday that examines the procurement and implementation processes of digital learning materials in four states.

The paper, State Procurement Case Studies: Spotlight on Digital Materials Acquisition, highlights research on the digital learning policies and procedures in California, Indiana, Louisiana and Utah to “provide transparency for those seeking to better understand the procurement process.”

The fundamental takeaway from these studies is that “there is no one-size-fits-all” when it comes to effective procedures, said Christine Fox, deputy executive director at SETDA and co-author of the paper.

“There’s not one best practice. All four states approached the process very differently,” Fox told EdScoop. “Ultimately, states need to look at their local needs and at the needs of their schools and districts. But, at minimum, they need to provide some level of leadership. … We hope that these examples demonstrate that all states — regardless of their adoption policies — can show leadership, and they can leverage resources at the state level to provide that leadership for all of their [local education agencies].”

The paper analyzes an array of elements — such as budgets and funding, challenges faced, quality of materials, accessibility to materials and complexity of policies — to illustrate the variety in which these practices may be applied to diverse populations.

This set of case studies complements other recent resources from SETDA — primarily the Digital Materials Acquisitions Policies for States (DMAPS), an online database that identifies individual state and territory policies for acquiring digital instructional materials.