About the TechSmart Initiative

In 2014 The Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission (MHCRC) announced the launch of the TechSmart Initiative for Student Success with plans to strategically invest about $19 million over the next 10 years in local public schools to positively impact academic outcomes for all students in Multnomah County.

The MHCRC TechSmart Initiative provides grants and evaluation resources for Multnomah County School Districts to identify effective classroom instruction that uses technology to foster improvement in academic outcomes for all students and to share the successful strategies across Districts.

The MHCRC has aligned the TechSmart Initiative with the collective effort of the broader community engaged in the All Hands Raised Partnership, to make progress on the following academic outcomes key to student success:

  • Kindergarten Readiness
  • English Language Learners’ Annual Progress
  • Third Grade Reading
  • Eighth Grade Math
  • Ninth Grade Credit Attainment
  • High School Graduation

“The MHCRC is thrilled to be working alongside so many others who understand that success of our youth is key to the success of our communities,” said Carol Studenmund, MHCRC Commisioner. “Through the TechSmart Initiative, the District’s will gain critical resources to discover how to best use technology in teaching and learning to improve outcomes for all students.”

TechSmart Schools & Grantee Transition to Distance Learning

In review of year-end surveys, submitted status reports and participant interviews, the MHCRC’s evaluation partner, Pacific Research & Evaluation (PRE), was able to gather tremendous qualitative data which indicated that the classrooms and schools which were involved in the TechSmart Initiative prior to the district’s switch to distance learning had a smoother transition and more positive outcomes overall. Teachers reported feeling more prepared for the transition to distance learning, able to not only move content online but facilitate group work and design collaborative class discussions. District leadership observed that TechSmart teachers were quick to provide support to non-TechSmart teachers. In addition, teachers and district leadership reported that TechSmart students were more equipped to move into a virtual learning environment as they knew how to log on and were familiar with the devices and software from in-classroom use.

Read the full “TechSmart Impact Report: Grantee Transition to Distance Learning due to COVID-19 Pandemic”

Impact Evaluation

The MHCRC has contracted with Pacific Research and Evaluation to design and implement a TechSmart Initiative evaluation plan to help school districts identify and understand effective instructional strategies and practices that use technology to foster improvement in academic outcomes for all students. After multiple years of project implementation by school districts in Multnomah County, the evaluation has begun to identify promising instructional practices that can be shared across all districts. TechSmart Initiative Evaluation Reports are linked below.

Funds for the TechSmart Initiative derive from the cable services franchises negotiated by the MHCRC with Comcast, Ziply, formerly Frontier, and Reliance Connects. The cable companies pay three percent of their gross revenues for video services in Multnomah County to support community uses of cable system technology, including funding for the MHCRC’s Community Grants program. Cable companies enter into franchise agreements in order to use the public right of way for their business purposes.