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The challenges facing America’s schools pose a risk to the near- and long-term competitiveness of the country’s businesses. The United States is approaching an historic opportunity for business to engage more strategically in education efforts, and several companies—including IBM, GE, State Farm, and Intel—have already made significant progress. How can we repeat the successes and avoid the pitfalls that these companies have experienced in their pioneering efforts in reforming America’s education system?

Top Takeaways

  1. Among developed countries, the U.S. ranks 24th out of 29 in math scores.
  2. Potential areas of impact for business in education include teaching and learning, human capital, and systems and structures.
  3. Specific approaches have included mentoring, technical assistance, convening, information dissemination, funding, and advocacy.
To improve education, systems need to be changed. If our company were still operating the same way we were years ago, we wouldn’t be in business, but public schools are still organized the same way they have been for the past 100 years.

Kathy Havens Paine, Education leadership
State Farm