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TechiesDay 2000 Highlights

A Letter from the Vice President

Vice President Al Gore

Vice President Al Gore Again Supports TechiesDay

THE VICE PRESIDENT
WASHINGTON
July 10, 2000

Dear Friends:

Once again, 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 productive event.

In particular, 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.

Throughout 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.

Sincerely,

Al Gore

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