from the Vice President
President Al Gore Again Supports TechiesDay
July 10, 2000
I am pleased to have this opportunity to send greetings to everyone
associated with TechiesDay. While I regret that I am unable to join
you, I would like to extend my best wishes for a successful and
I want to thank all of the information technology professionals
who are encouraging technology and science learning in schools.
You are to be commended for bringing attention to the need for technology
education, and for seeking a long-term solution to our country's
increasing demand for a qualified technology workforce. Through
the establishment of TechiesDay and your tireless commitment to
integrating technology career awareness, readiness, response and
achievement, you will help people gain the necessary skills and
qualifications to fill the 60 percent of new jobs in America that
will require advanced technological skills. Our nation's workplaces
are moving swiftly into the Information Age; unfortunately, our
classrooms are not keeping pace. We must make technology literacy
a standard. Our children must be better prepared for a lifetime
of computer use.
this administration, President Clinton and I have worked tirelessly
to close America's digital divide. Successful initiatives like the
e-rate program--which I have staunchly supported--have enabled us
to confront this challenge in our nation's schools head-on, allowing
us to connect thousands of classrooms and libraries to the Internet.
In 1994, only 35% of our schools--and 3% of our classrooms--had
any type of Internet connection; today, 95% of our schools and 63%of
our classrooms are connected. Given where we began, this is quite
an impressive accomplishment. However, we must continue to work
hard to ensure that all classrooms are Internet-ready.
In the context
of these efforts, I believe that wiring America's classrooms is
only the first step in effectively integrating technology into schools.
In order to achieve our end goal of boosting student performance
and helping students to learn, our educators need the best training
to make the most of this technology. As it stands, two out of every
three teachers with access to a computer do not feel prepared to
use it in class. I want to continue working with the local, state,
and federal authorities to provide teachers with the appropriate,
necessary technology training to ensure their success in the classroom.
Just last month, I was proud to announce the Administration's latest
effort to provide technology grants to teacher colleges and other
partners in every region of the country so that we can train new
instructors to use technology to improve student achievement.
I will continue
to work with businesses, citizens, and state and local governments
to ensure that we reach our national goal of technological literacy
for all our children. Nothing less than their success--and our nation's--is
at stake. This goal can only take place when a strong national commitment
to technology education is combined with strong support from business,
families, educators and community groups. The private sector, working
in partnership with the public sector, is playing an important role
in this process. I commend CNET and techies.com for co-founding
this national, year-long initiative of TechiesDay as well as those
companies with the wisdom to invest in our children's future. Together,
we can truly make a difference in addressing our nation's demand
for a qualified technology workforce.
I know each
of you taking part in this important event share this vision. Please
accept my best wishes for your continued success. I look forward
to working with you in the years to come.