Carnegie Corporation Applauds Digital Promise, Recognizes Early Work toward Today's Initiative

Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, offered his support for the Digital Promise Initiative, a public-private partnership to support a comprehensive R&D program around education technology announced today by President Obama and Education Secretary Duncan.

“The creation of the Digital Promise Initiative heralds a new and much needed era that will ensure the rewards of the digital age will be available to everyone, those with wealth and those without, those who live in rural areas and those who live in urban areas, those who are young and those who are elderly. Just as the Northwest Ordinance, the Morrill Land-Grant College Act and the GI Bill stand as seminal achievements in earlier centuries, we look forward to seeing the Digital Promise Initiative shine in this century as an equally bright beacon,” said Gregorian.

In 1998, Carnegie Corporation recognized the need to ensure public access to the then new digital technologies and their unprecedented impact on the dissemination of knowledge. 

Lawrence K. Grossman and Newton N. Minow, both pioneers in public television, approached Carnegie Corporation and the Century Fund for support to convene a group of leaders from schools, universities, libraries, museums and public broadcasting companies across the country to explore this issue.  From the discussion at this meeting, it became clear that public institutions were being left behind in the information revolution, and meeting participants unanimously agreed that there was a need to develop policy regarding the uses of the new information technologies in the public interest.

As a result, Carnegie Corporation and the Twentieth Century Fund asked Grossman and Minow to head a study that would formulate specific recommendations. They conducted extensive research and presented their initial findings suggesting that a Digital Opportunity Investment Trust be established to continue the research. These meetings marked the start of a challenging decade-long journey that recently culminated in significant progress including the Digital Promise Initiative, which is expected to have far-reaching implications for the formal and informal education of people of all ages and for skills training.