DC area school districts grapple with AI's growing influence as fall semester nears

Artificial intelligence is getting more powerful but are schools prepared for that?

Many local districts have no policy in place regarding students using AI, and it could be an issue as they head back to class this fall. 

FOX 5 reached out to school districts in Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland and most have no policy on the books concerning students using artificial intelligence — including the newly popular platform ChatGPT.

Prince William County Schools says they are actively researching and plan to develop guidelines in the coming months. Fairfax County Public Schools says its instructional services and information technology teams are working together to research and discuss the implications of using AI tools. Montgomery County Public Schools says there is no policy, and D.C. Public Schools says it’s continuing to gather information on how the District might best responsibly engage AI.


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KD College Prep CEO David Dillard says the school district must evaluate three important points: First, what are students doing with the artificial intelligence – including how they’re using it for assignments. Second, what students should not do with artificial intelligence like misrepresenting work as their own, which Dillard says would constitute cheating. Third, should educators use artificial intelligence?

"The reality is it's here," Dillard said. "A recent survey found that 51% of educators and 33% of students aged 12-17 were using ChatGPT in school last year. So, it's here. It's available, and easy to put on your phone. It's not a matter of whether it's going to be present or not or whether you can keep it out."

In reality, school districts are taking a look at this right now skillfully. It seems a policy implemented would take place after school starts because all the school districts we spoke with say they are in the research phase.