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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release March 7, 1995

Visiting an area elementary school that uses innovative educational software to help students learn, Vice President Al Gore joined with Education Secretary Richard Riley (3/6) to kick off this Administration's challenge to communities across the nation to use powerful new technologies to improve education and enhance economic opportunities.

"In today's global economy, we have to ensure all Americans access, any time and any place, to quality education and training tailored to their individual learning and workplace needs," the Vice President said. "This means schools that live up to these world-class standards. And that requires meeting the challenge of bringing the information superhighway to every classroom in America." President Clinton and Vice President Gore have challenged the telecommunications industry to connect every classroom, library, clinic and hospital to the information superhighway by the year 2000.

The Vice President and Secretary Riley announced the Challenge Grants for Technology in Education program at Forest Knolls Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. They toured a classroom and talked to students who showed them the technologies they use to learn, including the Internet where they communicate with other students around the world and a computer program used by a student with cerebral palsy.

"Technology motivates students and taps into their natural curiosity. The result almost always is students who aren't afraid to take risks, who feel empowered to learn, and who can transcend the barriers of time and space," the Vice President said.

The Challenge Grants for Technology in Education program is a $27-million effort to support state-of-the-art technology projects in about 20 low-income rural and urban school districts. The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Wednesday voted to rescind the funding of the 1995 Challenge Grants.

Similar to many other Administration programs, this one will depend on partnerships with schools, colleges and universities, telecommunications firms, and other business and community organizations who will work together to carefully plan and clearly define how they will use innovative technologies to help meet the National Education Goals 2000.

"New technologies can be tools for improving and transforming education, but only if they are acquired as an integral part of a comprehensive, long-term plan for education reform," the Vice President said.