17 September 2005

IBM to Encourage Employees to Be Teachers

How cool is this? Just when you think that companies are only out to make money, something like this comes along. Of course, the cynic in me says this is just a massive public relations move that won't really do anything. But the idealistic ex-teacher in me is happy to hear about it nonetheless.

IBM, worried the United States is losing its competitive edge, will financially back employees who want to leave the company to become math and science teachers.

The new program, being announced Friday in concert with city and state education officials, reflects tech industry fears that U.S. students are falling behind peers from Bangalore to Beijing in the sciences.

Up to 100 IBM employees will be eligible for the program in its trial phase. Eventually, Big Blue hopes many more of its tech savvy employees — and those in other companies — will follow suit.

The goal is to help fill shortfalls in the nation's teaching ranks, a problem expected to grow with the retirement of today's educators.

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