Skip to main content

Time for a Pause: Without Effective Public Oversight, AI in Schools Will Do More Harm Than Good.

Ignoring their own well-publicized calls to regulate AI development and to pause implementation of its applications, major technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Meta are racing to fend off regulation and integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into their platforms. The weight of the available evidence suggests that the current wholesale adoption of unregulated AI applications in schools poses a grave danger to democratic civil society and to individual freedom and liberty. Years of warnings and precedents have highlighted the risks posed by the widespread use of pre-AI digital technologies in education, which have obscured decision-making and enabled student data exploitation. Without effective public oversight, the introduction of opaque and unproven AI systems and applications will likely exacerbate these problems. This policy brief explores the harms likely if lawmakers and others do not step in with carefully considered measures to prevent these extensive risks. The authors urge school leaders to pause the adoption of AI applications until policymakers have had sufficient time to thoroughly educate themselves and develop legislation and policies ensuring effective public oversight and control of school applications.

Suggested Citation: Williamson, B., Molnar, A., & Boninger, F. (2024). Time for a pause: Without effective public oversight, AI in schools will do more harm than good. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from