News Release

Cisco Says Radical Shift in Education Systems Required to Sustain Global Competitiveness

Company Spurs Dialogue with Public-Private Sector Leaders to Transform Education
Jun 30, 2008

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (NECC), June 30, 2008 - Cisco is calling on U.S. business leaders, policy makers and education officials to take a more aggressive approach to transforming education.

As a multinational company, Cisco is deeply engaged in the effort to help bring education into the 21st century and prepare our nation's students to become members of the global workforce. Cisco has an interest in seeing skilled, well-educated students coming through schools and universities in the coming decade and beyond, and feels strongly that by fulfilling their social responsibility, private companies can help these systems succeed.

Cisco recently articulated these ideas in a vision document titled "Equipping Every Learner for the 21st Century," which proposes a new paradigm of 21st-century learning and explains the societal factors necessitating a radical shift in education. In preparing this vision, Cisco met with district administrators, school leaders, teachers and community members to make sure that this approach resonated with its audience.

"Cisco has heard repeatedly from educators and school administrators that the case for education transformation isn't being made with sufficient urgency," said Michael Stevenson, Cisco vice president of global education. "We need to create momentum for change now, or risk the United States becoming less competitive and less successful."

Cisco believes a holistic transformation of educational systems is required, to be guided by a comprehensive roadmap of curricular and assessment reform, as well as improved teacher and leadership development. This transformation will be enabled by collaborative technologies that allow individuals to create, adapt and share content. This change also requires long-term support and commitment from both educational systems and the private sector but is designed to begin transforming systems in a three- to five-year time frame.

Cisco will discuss concepts developed for achieving holistic transformation at National Educational Computing Conference (NECC). This high-level framework is based on Cisco's experience and results with education initiatives like the Cisco® 21st Century Schools (21S) initiative and the Cisco Networking Academy®. Experience from these programs, as well as nationwide input from district administrators, school leaders, teachers, and community members have helped shape models of transformation that Cisco hopes to replicate.

"In a global society, we are better positioned than ever before to address the challenges in educational systems worldwide, using technology and the spreading of best practices," said Stevenson. "Cisco has a responsibility to help bring about this radical change."

For additional information on Cisco's Global Education initiative, visit