Week of October 1, 2012
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve traveled from the Latin America and Caribbean Partners in Learning Innovative Educators Forum in Lima, Peru to the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, meeting scores of amazing and innovative educators along the way. I spoke to teachers who, in spite of sometimes overwhelming obstacles, are wholeheartedly committed to improving the lives and futures of young people. They’re tackling tough challenges, from getting girls engaged in STEM subjects to making education accessible for all. I’m looking forward to sharing some of these stories over the coming weeks, and if you’re looking for inspiration, I suspect you’ll find it in my conversations with these everyday heroes.
We’ll be celebrating the incredible work you and other teachers do this Friday, October 5, on World Teachers’ Day, but as you well know, both teachers and students need support that doesn’t always come from government, especially in these challenging economic times. So I was thrilled when Microsoft announced YouthSpark, a cross-company commitment to use Microsoft’s corporate philanthropy and business programs to create opportunities in education, employment or entrepreneurship. In the US, we also announced a National Talent Strategy, a white paper outlining ideas and solutions aimed at strengthening America’s STEM pipeline and offering specific recommendations on the concrete steps that government, business, schools and universities can take to tackle the challenges we see today.
This support for more than 50 million young people in the United States, and 300 million worldwide, is a great complement to what we’re already doing for educators through the Partners in Learning Network, which recently surpassed 60,000 unique new members and supports teachers and schools in over 115 countries. If you haven’t checked out the PiL site recently, I strongly encourage you to do so. You’ll find dozens of new features designed to provide educators and school leaders with a place to engage with other like-minded professionals, enhance personal development, and access no-cost resources to enhance the classroom experience for students.
We’ll be sharing much more at our Partners in Learning Global Forum in Prague on November 28, but in the meantime, I’m happy to report that our collective efforts to improve the state of global education are benefitting from some considerable momentum.
Have a great week, and I hope you’ll join us in celebrating the momentum we’re building together!