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
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, www.achievethecore.org,
to distribute free resources designed to support teacher understanding
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.
Rebecca Edwards, 203-373-3304