But as the Senate Education committee prepares to mark up ESEA, another under-the-radar amendment is also being considered — one that has historical ties to the Department of Defense.
It’s called ARPA-Ed, and it stands for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Education, a program President Obama proposed at the beginning of the year. If the name sounds a lot like DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, that’s intentional. DARPA was established in the 1950s as a response to the Soviets’ launch of the Sputnik spacecraft and was meant to protect the United States’ technological supremacy. Although it’s a Defense Department agency, DARPA research isn’t tied to specific military missions. But it has been responsible for a number of technological innovations with sweeping implications, including, ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet.
The creation of ARPA-Ed aims to tap into this history and to signal that the country urgently needs to invest in technological research to maintain its educational edge, or be at risk of falling behind.
The legacy of Sputnik and DARPA have been invoked by President Obama many times this year as he’s talked about the importance of technology and education. He talked about Sputnik Continue reading