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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