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IBM to Invest an Additional $25 Million to Spread its Successful Education Reforms


Washington, D.C. - 12 Jun 2001: Responding to a new independent study which found that its seven-year, $45 million effort to strengthen K-12 public school education has resulted in significant gains in student achievement, IBM today announced that it will contribute an additional $25 million in cash, research and technology to expand access to its Reinventing Education program to millions of additional students and teachers.

First launched in 1994, IBM's Reinventing Education program will, with the new grants, expand to support teacher training colleges that work in partnership with school districts to develop new, more effective ways to prepare and train teachers. Reinventing Education currently touches more than 10 million K-12 school children across 21 school districts and states and eight countries outside the United States.

According to a three-year independent evaluation by the Center for Children and Technology (CCT) of Education Development Center, Inc., in Newton, Mass., innovative Reinventing Education solutions, "are having a significant positive effect on student achievement." The CCT evaluators were able to document "substantial gains in performance for students in grades 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 as a result of Reinventing Education solutions breaking down significant barriers to high academic achievement."

"Improving education is hard work. If we expect to boost teacher quality and drive real improvements in student achievement, we have to invest in some radically different approaches," said Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., IBM Chairman & CEO and co-chair of Achieve. "Reinventing Education has succeeded where other efforts have not because it focuses on eliminating barriers that stand between our children and academic success--improving teacher quality, forging new linkages between home and school, giving teachers the tools to succeed. Now it is time to scale up and accelerate the success."

Described by the CCT study as "a unique initiative among the efforts to reform education," IBM's Reinventing Education was launched in 1994 with the goal of transforming US public school education by applying its research and development resources and technology and skills to develop practical solutions to systemic barriers in education reform.

Scaling Up Reforms; Focus on Teacher Training
In 1994, Reinventing Education grants were awarded to 10 U.S. sites, including Broward County, FL; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Vermont and West Virginia to tackle school reform. In 1997, a second round of grants was awarded to 12 additional U.S. locations to build on the knowledge and experience and technology solutions developed through the original sites. Phase two sites included Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; Durham, NC; Houston, TX; Maryland; Memphis, TN; New York City and State; Rochester, MN; South Carolina and Texas. IBM also provided international Reinventing Education grants in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Vietnam and the United Kingdom.

IBM's newly announced $25 million grant will fuel phase three of Reinventing Education, which will have a particular focus on improving teacher quality through investments in teacher education and professional development, including:

"The Reinventing Education program will work side by side with schools of education and school districts to transform how teachers are trained and prepare them to help their students in the most effective way," said Robin Willner, director of corporate community relations for IBM. "These new grants will benefit entire school districts by building new on-line networks for teachers and faculty of all levels -- from experienced to those in training."

A New Model of Corporate Philanthropy
In parallel with IBM's goal of spurring wide-spread student achievement in education through Reinventing Education is the creation of sustained, long-term relationships with school districts and states that flourish and scale far beyond the scope of the original grant. At the onset of a grant, IBM researchers and consultants work side by side with school districts to develop new technologies that address critical issues in school change, such as student assessment practices, continuous teacher improvement models and teacher instructional planning. Partnerships with school districts and states have produced tools designed to help young students become proficient readers, enrich and deliver rigorous science content across core academic areas, assess and monitor student learning to inform instruction and help improve communication within and between schools and the communities they serve.

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For more information IBM's Reinventing Education visit http://www.ibm.com/ibm/ibmgives/

For more information about The Center for Children and Technology of Education Development Center, Inc., visit http://www.edc.org.

Contact(s) information

Kendra Collins
IBM Media Relations
(212)745-6064
krcollin@us.ibm.com

Shep Ranbom
IBM
(202)955-9450
sranbom@commworksllc.com

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