IBM Reinventing Education: Research Summary and Perspective

June 1, 2001

In 1994, IBM dramatically changed traditional corporate philanthropy by announcing it would invest the lion's share of its charitable dollars in a unique grant program called Reinventing Education. Today, the IBM initiative is a sweeping $45 million education reform program involving 21 school districts and states throughout the US, and eight international sites. It includes thousands of teachers and millions of students with documented success in both urban and rural areas.

At the heart of the program is the belief that business can and must contribute to profound and far-reaching changes in education, and that technology - which revolutionized business and industry - could have the same dramatic impact in public education by providing new tools for better teaching and higher student achievement.

In 1998, the Center for Children and Technology (CCT) at the Education Development Center began a long-term study of the sites where the program was launched. We documented findings at each grant site, monitoring progress and the impact of technology on improving and learning.

This report summarizes three years of research conducted by us and examines the implications of IBM's Reinventing Education initiative for those interested in the role of technology in improved teaching and learning. We hope that it will be equally meaningful to those interested in understanding education reform and public/private partnerships.


Bob Spielvogel