Following is a statement today by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the "Connect to Compete" Initiative.
"Children live in an ever-more interconnected world where their success in competing for the jobs of tomorrow will increasingly depend on their ability to understand, operate and adapt to computer-based technology and online environments. And, we are seeing that smart use of technology can improve the opportunity to learn for people of all ages. Yet, the U.S. trails countries like Singapore and South Korea in expanding access to broadband Internet. By supplying low-income families with affordable Internet, computers and free digital training, the FCC's national "Connect to Compete" initiative will play a key role in providing more of our nation's children with a 21st century education.
"Last year, the U.S. Department of Education released the National Education Technology Plan to promote the role technology can play in transforming education. Applying technology to our entire education system can have a cascading impact on improving student learning, expanding effective practices, using data to support decision-making and encourage continuous improvement. Connect to Compete addresses the need to build and expand technology infrastructure, one of five core components outlined in the National Education Technology Plan.
"I commend and thank the more than a dozen corporate and nonprofit partners for their leadership in breaking down barriers to Internet and technology access for tens of millions of Americans. Our collective efforts to increase access to technology and improve education will have a tremendous influence in providing greater opportunities for children across the U.S. while also making a significant investment in our nation's economic future."