CDE’s networking system, Brokers of Expertise’ set to open

The education community's answer to social networking - the Brokers of Expertise' website is set to be officially launched today by the California Department of Education.

An online web portal envisioned to connect all sectors of education continuously, the Brokers of Expertise would serve as a vehicle for disseminating information and connecting educators statewide and also allowing a free flow of communication for students, parents as well as general taxpayers.

The site, which has actually been up and in use for several months, is a creation of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell and his P-16 Council who have long talked of a network that could link schools with Sacramento experts and provide basic research resources to students and parents.

Officials say that school districts across the state have been left to solve problems on their own with no central resource to guide them and no mechanism to collaborate with other educators.

Texas launched similar efforts to increase communication in education. In 2009, the Texas Education Agency created the Best Practices Clearinghouse," an online clearinghouse of evidence-based information on the best practices of campuses, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools in Texas. The site is tailored for administrators with most of its submissions coming from school principals and district superintendents.

Florida's "Sunshine Connection" has a similar collaborative environment for their teachers. The site links teachers to Web-based tools, student data and material about curriculum.

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