Does a shift in the U.S. Department of Education organizational chart presage a coming shift in the role for and priority of educational technology under Secretary DeVos? From FY12 through FY17 under the Obama Administration, the Office of Educational Technology (OET) reported directly to the Office of the Secretary. They describe how this works on their site. As of May 24, 2017 it states:
Yet, the FY18 budget request of the Department (on page W-14 [PDF] of their budget justification) reveals a change in the reporting structure of the Office:
No longer is there a direct line to the Secretary of Education and the Office now functionally appears to be more internal facing. Given the recent and highly-publicized critiques of ED’s IT management and security systems, perhaps this should not be a surprise.
Time will tell what significance there is to this. Nonetheless, it is undeniably a break from the recent past. If and until Secretary DeVos and her senior leadership team detail their vision for the federal role in technology-enabled innovation in education, we are left reading the proverbial tea leaves.