Microsoft launches Redu, aimed at U.S. education reform

Microsoft is dipping its toes into education once again, in the United States.

The software giant launched an informational website on Tuesday, aimed at those who wish to volunteer, donate or work in education. Like a number of Microsoft's projects, the site is only for those in the United States, where the U.S. education system is in a bad way. Over one million students drop out of school each year, that's 6,000 students per school day and one every 26 seconds. Microsoft claims the U.S. will need two million new teachers in the next decade as over a million teachers are currently nearing retirement.

The initiative, hosted at Microsoft's Bing search site, aims to give U.S. citizens a comprehensive picture on the education debate, allowing them to join the conversation and find ways to help and make a difference.

Microsoft has a long history of involvement in education. The company regularly supports universities with discounted software and training and has launched a number of campaigns targeted towards students. Initiatives like the Imagine Cup competition, appeal to students directly with a view to highlighting educated success. Education is a major focus for the company as a whole in 2010. Employee giving and volunteerism across the education spectrum is encouraged under the company's corporate citizenship work.

Microsoft hopes the new site will generate interest in U.S. education. "This new site is a great way to galvanize interest and focus on public education," Pamela Passman, vice president of corporate affairs at Microsoft, said in an interview with CNET on Tuesday. The site is available at bing.com/redu

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This Redu program is kinda an oxymoron. They spelled Redu wrong. Wonder if the creator of this "Redu" program from Microsoft graduated.

If you say they spelled it like that on purpose then are we teaching are young kids to spell wrong on purpose?

REDU is so dumb. Sure, it's a worthy cause, and I like seeing Microsoft taking iniative here, but REDU doesn't seem to be worth it.

The articles on the site don't have a direct impact on improving education (mostly how-to articles on making children 'feel' happier, supposedly leading to better productivity?), links to volunteer or organization you can donate to, etc. Not much useful that you couldn't find on a real educational/academic site.

Considering how Microsoft has droopped Encarta (even the free version on MSN, something actually worthwhile on that site!), Live Search Books and Academic (fairly good at the time, better than Google), it's annoyed me that Microsoft is claiming they're helping with education. Giving student discounts on software doesn't help with the education aspect, but releasing more useful tools for students and making it more obvious would help. As far as I know, Apple's been making better inroads into tapping the education market, even on the primary and secondary levels.

Microsoft also donates software to techsoup . Its for schools, libraries, and non profits . Severely discounted software. Example windows 7 pro $6 a copy or office 2010 $10 a copy.

Recon415 said,
I think Microsoft should create its own, IT oriented University.

@thatguyandrew1992 - Great Idea, they probably should. But the foundation for education are our public school. The quality and content is not uniform at the base.

This site is cool. It looks very informative, and could be a tool to people in and out of the education field.

Microsoft launches Redu, aimed at U.S. education reform said,
Over one million students drop out of school each year, that's 6,000 students per school.
Does anyone else find this statistic slightly confusing, I'm reading it as "6,000 from each school drop out each year", am I reading it wrong?

Richard Herman said,
Does anyone else find this statistic slightly confusing, I'm reading it as "6,000 from each school drop out each year", am I reading it wrong?

Nope, I missed a key word there. Updated

Richard Herman said,
Does anyone else find this statistic slightly confusing, I'm reading it as "6,000 from each school drop out each year", am I reading it wrong?

yea that seems a bit strange

Richard Herman said,
Does anyone else find this statistic slightly confusing, I'm reading it as "6,000 from each school drop out each year", am I reading it wrong?

No your not. That is interesting because my school had a graduating class of ~600 (2200 Students) and I only know of a few dropouts. Though according to my calculations which I happen to be bad at doing since I was poorly educated, that means I never saw the other 6000 kids that never attended my school.

See, it makes less sense now because the population is only slightly over 300 million. And we are talking about a very specific age group (17-19 +/-1).

EDIT: Forgot to finish my second point ^^

So anyways, I would assume that the age group would be about 1 million students (just a guess) so maybe they have the numbers botched. Maybe it is there are 1 million graduating students, and 6000 drop out.

On the contrary, I'd rather have the corporations and the private sectors handle education LOL. Public education is a crap poo poo service that dumb down your children. If you have the chance, would you send your kids to a private school or a public school. Pick one. I though so.

vice le von said,
On the contrary, I'd rather have the corporations and the private sectors handle education LOL. Public education is a crap poo poo service that dumb down your children. If you have the chance, would you send your kids to a private school or a public school. Pick one. I though so.

There's nothing inherently wrong in public schools. Rather the opposite, since this is the only way to guarantee similar education throughout a country. If a government can't pull this idea off and make them suck, the problem is not in the idea, but the government.

A corporation should not have to fund our failing schools, that's the job of the failing government. Nice to see this happening but also shameful that a company has to do this and not the government who are spending out tax dollars of a failing war effort rather than education and health.

TonyLock said,
A corporation should not have to fund our failing schools, that's the job of the failing government. Nice to see this happening but also shameful that a company has to do this and not the government who are spending out tax dollars of a failing war effort rather than education and health.

You can't really blame the government. Parents need to place importance on education.

TonyLock said,
A corporation should not have to fund our failing schools, that's the job of the failing government. Nice to see this happening but also shameful that a company has to do this and not the government who are spending out tax dollars of a failing war effort rather than education and health.

Tony you must have missed the fact that president Obama was elected and he is aiming to fix the 8 catastrophic years of the Bush administration .

Beastage said,

Tony you must have missed the fact that president Obama was elected and he is aiming to fix the 8 catastrophic years of the Bush administration .

Oh please, another misinformed citizen. Tell me, according to the constitution which part of the government is allowed to handle taxes, budgets, or quite frankly anything to do with money?

The answer is congress. So before you moan and groan about or needlessly praise someone who is an executive branch leader, you should make an angry face at your local congress men and women.

But education transcends this pathetic blame-shifting politics. Both sides are responsible for the most valuable commodity in the States, and that is it's children. And issues with education have been spanning for decades.

I believe, as well as many other people, that a lot of the issue came with the invent of standardized testing. It placed this idea that intelligence can be measured by an absolute method as well as imply that all students are the same in both interests and learning styles. I believe that we have been making some steps towards personalizing school, but it still is quite "standard."

MSfanboy said,

Oh please, another misinformed citizen. Tell me, according to the constitution which part of the government is allowed to handle taxes, budgets, or quite frankly anything to do with money?

The answer is congress. So before you moan and groan about or needlessly praise someone who is an executive branch leader, you should make an angry face at your local congress men and women.

But education transcends this pathetic blame-shifting politics. Both sides are responsible for the most valuable commodity in the States, and that is it's children. And issues with education have been spanning for decades.

I believe, as well as many other people, that a lot of the issue came with the invent of standardized testing. It placed this idea that intelligence can be measured by an absolute method as well as imply that all students are the same in both interests and learning styles. I believe that we have been making some steps towards personalizing school, but it still is quite "standard."

I think it is a question of both parenting and funding for schools. My sister used to teach in a harlem elementary charter school. Although there was not much funding, she could not teach mainly because about 40% of the class caused so much disruption that she couldn't teach effectively. These 40% were the same people who had parents who didn't care about them, some of their parents were even in jail. The teaching methods of the other teachers were also highly ineffective and many still failed. Money does help get better teachers, and better technology but parent support is huge.

TonyLock said,
A corporation should not have to fund our failing schools, that's the job of the failing government. Nice to see this happening but also shameful that a company has to do this and not the government who are spending out tax dollars of a failing war effort rather than education and health.

You're confused. This is America, not a normal 'socialistic' country.

mrmckeb said,

You're confused. This is America, not a normal 'socialistic' country.

Exactly. Spending money for social gain rather than monetary gain is invalid syntax in Captalism++.

Omen1393 said,

I think it is a question of both parenting and funding for schools. My sister used to teach in a harlem elementary charter school. Although there was not much funding, she could not teach mainly because about 40% of the class caused so much disruption that she couldn't teach effectively. These 40% were the same people who had parents who didn't care about them, some of their parents were even in jail.

watch the Wire, season 4.... there's your solution.