The GE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of GE, announces an $18 million grant to Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit organization to provide critical implementation support for Common Core State Standards across the U.S. The four-year grant is the largest corporate commitment to date for the Common Core State Standards and reflects GE’s longstanding dedication to preparing American students for an increasingly competitive workforce.
“Our economy is facing an undeniable challenge—good paying jobs are going unfilled because U.S. workers don’t have the skills to fill the positions. We must cultivate a highly educated workforce and we see the Standards as a key component to answering this challenge,” says Robert Corcoran, Vice President, GE Corporate Citizenship, and President and Chair, GE Foundation.
To date, the nation’s governors, chief state school officers, and other stakeholders across the political spectrum have come together to adopt Core Standards in 46 states. The Standards set common, rigorous expectations for students in literacy and mathematics.
The grant will allow Student Achievement Partners to offer national support to teachers. Student Achievement Partners helped in the development of the Core Standards, a process that drew on the input of teachers, business leaders, researchers, and policymakers. As contributing authors of the Core Standards, Student Achievement Partners integrated 10,000 public comments from teachers and other stakeholders as the Standards were being developed. Student Achievement Partners also helped ensure that the Standards were based on the best available evidence of what students need to master in order to be ready for the demands of college and career.
“This is a great day for the education reform movement and specifically for the momentum behind the Common Core State Standards. The GE Foundation is going deep in this work and its commitment to improving public education for all students is exactly what it is going to take to seed real and lasting change, especially during these tough economic times,” says David Coleman, Founding Partner, Student Achievement Partners.
The grant from GE Foundation will support several related efforts to help educators achieve the Core Standards:
• Direct collaboration with teachers to produce and share examples and best practices of excellent instruction aligned with the Standards;
• A website, achievethecore.org, to distribute free resources designed to support teacher understanding and implementation;
• Standards Immersion Institutes designed to cultivate teacher experts who can build knowledge in their districts and states;
• The development of tools to track implementation and evaluate the quality of student work; and
• Partnerships with a network of non-profits to provide ongoing technical support to district and state leaders guiding implementation.
“This is a win for the youth of America and the companies that hope to employ them in the future,” says former Governor John Engler, President, the Business Roundtable, an organization comprised of the chief executive officers from leading U.S. companies. “The Core Standards movement can help our nation prepare a highly trained, internationally competitive workforce so we can continue to lead the world. The GE Foundation has demonstrated real leadership by stepping up and supporting this work.”
“Our members came together from states across the country to develop the Common Core and are now focused on implementing these new standards,” says Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers. “Teachers are on the frontlines of this work and supporting them as they bring the standards to life for their students is our top priority. We are thrilled that Student Achievement Partners in partnership with the GE Foundation will be providing such a strong resource for teachers.”
GE Foundation support continues the legacy of its education investments in its seven Developing Futures™ districts: Atlanta; Cincinnati; Erie, Penn.; Jefferson County, Ky.; Milwaukee; New York City; and Stamford, Conn. Teachers in these districts will participate in intense, multi-day training and will receive ongoing support as they implement the Standards, shift from current instructional practices, and ensure they are reaching all students.
GE Foundation works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, it supports U.S. and international education, developing health globally, the environment, public policy, human rights and disaster relief. In addition, GE Foundation supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2009, the entire GE family — including businesses, employees, retirees and GE Foundation — contributed more than an estimated $220 million to community and educational programs, including more than $100 million from GE Foundation.
Student Achievement Partners is a New York City-based independent, nonprofit organization that assembles educators and researchers to design actions based on evidence that will substantially improve student achievement.Founded by three of the authors of the Common Core State Standards, Student Achievement Partners is devoted to accelerating student achievement by driving effective and innovative implementation of the Core Standards.
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