Nearly one in three high school students in America this year will not graduate.

Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center. Diplomas Count: Ready for What? Preparing Students for College, Careers and Life after High School. Education Week, June 2007.

The Challenge for American Education

The gap between whites and Hispanic/Latinos with a bachelor’s degree or higher has nearly doubled in the past 20 years. The gap between whites and African-Americans has grown from 11 percentage points to 15. If these trends continue, per capita personal income in the United States will fall 2 percent between 2000 and 2020, an alarming reversal of the 41 percent growth seen over the prior two decades.

National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. Income of U.S. Workforce Projected to Decline If Education Doesn’t Improve. Policy Alert. 2005.

According to a 2002 survey by the Committee for Economic Development, 30 percent of large U.S. businesses believe that a "provincial, monolingual workforce" had cost them global business opportunities.

D. McGray. Lost in America. Foreign Policy. 2006.

Only one in three American seventh to 12th graders studies a foreign language. In elementary school, that number is just one in 20.

D. McGray. Lost in America. Foreign Policy. 2006.

America is failing to teach non-European languages; 90 percent of U.S. secondary schools offer Spanish classes; just 1 percent offer Chinese and even fewer offer Arabic.

K. Manzo. Students Taking Spanish, French; Leaders Pushing Chinese, Arabic. Education Week. 2006.

Despite No Child Left Behind, educational standards - grade-by-grade, subject-by-subject learning goals - have declined in 30 states from 2000-2006.

The Proficiency Illusion. Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Northwest Evaluation Associates (NWEA). October 2007.

Americans are becoming less - not more - globally engaged. Only 21 percent of Americans own passports and the percentage of Americans traveling internationally has grown at a slower rate than the number of foreign travelers visiting the United States. Less than 9 percent of American university students study a foreign language today, down from 16 percent in 1965. And coverage of foreign affairs has dropped significantly across U.S. mainstream media in recent decades.

A. Granitsas. Americans are Tuning Out the World. YaleGlobal. 2005.

One in 3 people in the world own cell phones; this is expected to grow 50 percent in the next 2 years.

D. Ley. Ubiquitous computing. Emerging technologies for learning, p. 77. Becta Publishers. 2007

Eight percent of Internet users or about 12 million Americans keep a blog. Thirty-nine percent or about 57 million read blogs.

Pew Internet & American Life Project. Report: Bloggers: A Portrait of the Internet’s new Storytellers. July 19, 2006.

Understanding of 21st Century Skills and Outcomes

A 2006 survey revealed that more than 20 percent of employers felt that high school graduates were not prepared to use information technology applications.

J. Casner-Lotto and M.W. Benner. Are They Really Ready to Work? Employers’ perspectives on the basic knowledge and applied skills of new entrants to the 21st century U.S. workforce. 2006.

Wikipedia has 75,000 active contributors working on more than 9,000,000 articles in more than 250 languages.

Wikipedia. 2008.

By June 2007, Wikipedia was getting 7 billion page views per month. June 2007.

Relevant and Applied Curriculum

In a 2002 National Geographic Survey, 85 percent of 18- to 24-year-old Americans were unable to locate Afghanistan and Iraq on a map; 69 percent were unable to locate Great Britain; 29 percent were unable to find the Pacific Ocean.

National Geographic-Roper 2002 Global Geographic Literacy Survey. November 2002.

According to a recent study by Education Week, 10 years ago, less than two-thirds of U.S. public schools had Internet access and just 14 percent of those schools had computers connected to the Internet in their classrooms. Today, nearly all schools have Internet access. In fact, 95 percent of them have computers with high-speed Internet access.

A Digital Decade. Education Week. March 29, 2007.

Ubiquitous Access to Technology

Use of collaborative tools in school districts: 92 percent require parents and/or students to sign an Internet use policy; 84 percent have rules against online chatting and 81 percent regarding instant messaging; 62 percent have rules against participating in bulletin boards or blogs; 60 percent prohibit sending and receiving email in school; 52 percent prohibit any use of social networking sites in school.

Grunwald & Associates, LLC, in cooperation with the National School Board Association. Creating and Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social - and Educational - Networking. July 2007.