SOURCE: General Electric (GE)
Since its inception nearly six decades ago, the GE Foundation has been committed to education. Today, that commitment is seen in the Foundation’s support of initiatives that improve access, quality and equity in public education. The GE Foundation has primarily targeted its education funding to seven U.S. school districts in communities where GE has a significant business presence and calls this effort Developing Futures.
The GE Foundation’s commitment to education comes in part as a result of the urgent need to improve student achievement and college and career readiness in the K–12 public education system. The United States lags behind other developed nations both in academic achievement and in education attainment, ranking 17th out of 34 countries in science proficiency, 25th out of 34 countries in math proficiency, and 12th out of 36 countries in the number of 24–36-year-olds with a college degree. As a result, many American students leave school lacking the necessary skills and education needed to succeed, weakening the country’s ability to produce a workforce that is fully prepared to compete in the local, national and global economies.
Because of this, the GE Foundation has played an important role in the understanding and implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The implementation of common, more rigorous and internationally benchmarked academic standards based on college and career readiness is critical to improving student achievement and ensuring future U.S. economic competitiveness. Each of GE’s Developing Futures school districts is currently implementing these standards.
This week in New York City, the GE Foundation is hosting an Immersion Institute for 125 educators from Developing Future school districts across the United States to help implement the Common Core State Standards. The Immersion Institute provides tools, resources and materials to help implement the new standards and to address any implementation challenges.
David Riesenfeld, a newly promoted Assistant Principal at the Robert F. Wagner Jr. Secondary School for Art and Technology in New York City, attended one of the past Immersion Institutes and joined the GE Foundation this week as a panelist. In talking about the value that the program brought him personally, David said, “The Institutes have changed how I envisioned my teaching practice, and as a result, had a direct positive impact on student achievement. I now feel prepared to make the changes in my classroom necessary for the implementation of the new globally-competitive Standards.”
This is the sixth program like this that the GE Foundation has hosted along with our partner – Student Achievement Partners. When educators return to their school districts they bring with them a deep understanding of the new Common Core State Standard and the tools needed for a successful implementation in their Developing Futures school district. So far 1,500 educators have attended a GE Foundation Immersion Institute and many go on to become Common Core State Standards teach leaders in their school and across their school districts.
KEYWORDS: Technology. Innovation & Solutions, GE, Immersion Institute, Education, foundation, GE foundation, Developing Futures, Standards, access, achievement