For more than two decades the GE Foundation has supported a move toward higher, more rigorous academic standards that would provide American students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college and careers. Beginning in 1989, two groundbreaking programs—College Bound and Math Excellence—helped establish GE Foundation priorities by focusing efforts on college access and preparedness.
The success of these programs led the GE Foundation to develop a singular approach that would have a wider, more lasting impact on teaching and learning. Launched in early 2005, Developing Futures™in Education focused on three key elements—managing systemic change; building internal management capacity and leadership development; and supporting district math and science initiatives to support improvements in teaching and learning in seven U.S. targeted urban school districts. The initiative led not only to improvements in student achievement, but also to an increase in central management capacity, cross-district collaboration, and best practice sharing. The Developing Futures program laid the foundation for the successful transition to the Common Core State Standards.
Recognizing that common, rigorous and internationally benchmarked standards are necessary for a high-quality and equitable education for all American children, the GE Foundation supported the Common Core State Standards initiative from the beginning, through grants to leading organizations that were instrumental in developing these new standards.
Now as districts and states move forward with the challenging task of transitioning to the Common Core State Standards, the GE Foundation will serve as a leader to ensure their successful implementation by providing resources, tools and teacher-development support at the local, state and national levels.