Investing in Education Technology to Win the Future

Wouldn’t it be cool if a well-designed videogame could provide a compelling learning environment, grab a student’s attention and teach critical thinking?  Or how about a virtual learning laboratory that would tailor educational material based on student patterns, similar to how Amazon.com and Netflix know that if you like “Sleepless in Seattle” you might also like “You’ve Got Mail?”

By aggressively pursuing new and better ways to educate our citizens, such as the ones above, the United States will be on track to out-innovate the competition and reclaim global leadership in education.

To address under-investment in education innovation, the President’s FY2012 budget proposes to invest $90 million to create an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education (ARPA-ED).  ARPA-ED will fund projects performed by industry, universities, or other innovative organizations, and will aggressively pursue technological breakthroughs that have the potential to transform teaching and learning. These changes have the potential to provide breakthrough technologies, just as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, helped develop the Internet, GPS, and robotics.

Earlier today, Secretary Duncan joined President Obama and Melinda Gates in Boston, Massachusetts to visit TechBoston Academy, and to discuss the shared responsibility of government, communities, businesses, and philanthropists to invest in innovative education approaches that will prepare our students to compete in the 21st century.

“There is no better economic policy than one that produces more graduates,” said President Obama.  “That’s why reforming education is the responsibility of every American – every parent, every teacher, every business leader, every public official, and every student.”

Read more about ARPA-ED and how it will help America regain its standing as the world leader in education by supporting the development of game-changing educational technologies.  Watch President Obama’s entire TechBoston speech, and you can also read more about the President’s FY 2012 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Education.

The President in Miami: Winning the Future Through Investments in Education

Cross-posted from the White House blog.

This afternoon, President Obama will visit Miami Central Senior High School in Miami, Florida, along with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The President will lay out his vision for improving American education through investments that are focused on responsibility, reform, and results.

Secretary Duncan previewed today’s visit with an op-ed for the Miami Herald:

Turning around a struggling school is some of the toughest work in education. Experience shows that effective turnarounds require strong leadership and the flexibility to recruit staff with special skills and commitment. Not every teacher or principal wants or should be in this demanding environment. But extraordinary principals and teachers who choose to work in turnaround schools deserve our full support and commitment.
The administration is supporting an array of bold options to help the children trapped in America’s lowest-performing schools. “More of the same” is not one of them.