THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
STATEMENT OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
By the year 2000, 60 percent of the new jobs in America will require advanced technological skills. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of our workforce today possesses the skills that enable them to compete in a technological world. And while our workplaces are moving swiftly into the Information Age, our classrooms are not keeping pace.
That is why President Clinton and I have called on parents, teachers, leading CEOs and others to join us in a new national mission. We have issued a challenge to America that calls for every young person to enter the workforce technologically literate in the 21st Century. Our challenge rests on four equally important principles: modern computers and learning devices accessible to every student; classrooms connected to one another and to the outside world; teachers ready to use and teach technology; and educational software as an integral part of the curriculum -- and as engaging as the best video game.
We have taken the first steps to reach this goal. In a visit to California in September, President Clinton showed how citizens and businesses can work together to meet this national challenge. By the end of this school year, all K-12 schools in California will have access to a world of knowledge via the Internet. Recently, President Clinton also met with corporate CEOs, including Ted Turner, George Lucas, Michael Eisner and Gerald Levin and asked for their input on how we can best develop a public-private plan to ensure technological literacy among all our children.
And just today, AT&T announced plans to commit $150 million to help connect the nation's 110,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools to the information superhighway by the year 2000. We commend AT&T's initiative which will help move the nation one large step forward toward meeting President Clinton's challenge to bring our classrooms and schools into the Information Age. President Clinton and I will continue to work in partnership with citizens, businesses, and state and local governments to ensure that we reach our national goal of technological literacy for all of our children. Nothing less than their success -- and our nation's -- is at stake.