Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett and current Xerox CEO Ursula Burns are part of a group that will push forward the Obama administration's effort to improve science and math education in the United States. In addition, the public-private partnership will look to grow an interest in the subjects among U.S. students. Group members said the effort is important to help keep the United States competitive in the global economy.
Craig Barrett, former chairman and CEO of
Intel, has been vocal over the past few years about the need to improve math
and science education in the United States
to ensure that the country continues to be competitive in the global economy.
Now he has the backing of the Obama administration, which on Nov. 23
announced a strategy to grow American students' interest and performance in STEM
(science, technology, engineering and math) education.
The initiative is a public-private effort that includes Barrett and Xerox CEO
Ursula Burns, and is partially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Among the other founders are Glen Britt, chairman, president and CEO
of Time Warner Cable; Antonio Perez, chairman and CEO
of Eastman Kodak; and Sally Ride, CEO of
Sally Ride Science and the first American woman in space. Also helping with the
funding is the Carnegie Corp.
The group is looking to build a coalition of businesses, philanthropists,
educators, governors and the public to push for better STEM
education, and will form an advisory board comprising business leaders.
"At Intel, we have seen what young people can do with math and science
when they are inspired and well-taught," Barrett said in a statement. "It is up
to all of us to stimulate that interest and provide teachers who can guide and
nurture students in these critical subjects."
The non-profit organization will look to gather the necessary resources that
will help drive math and science education. It also will look to take advantage
of new technologies and social networks to bring teachers together with STEM
professionals and help push STEM education
Businesses increasingly are looking for employees who are strong in the math
and sciences, according to the group, which will put a greater onus on young
people entering the work force to have these skills. Xerox's Burns said the
time is right for this strategy.
"President Obama's initiative is not only the right thing for the young
people of our country, but essential to maintaining America's
leadership position in the global economy," she said in a statement.