Arizona Republic
August 29, 2007



(Phoenix, AZ) Author: Erin Zlomek, The Arizona Republic Estimated printed pages: 2

Microsoft and the Dysart Unified School District want high school graduates to enter the global business world.

That means students must be fluent in other languages, must collaborate with other cultures and must be prepared to tackle global problems such as AIDS and pollution.

To equip students with those skills, Microsoft and Dysart are hammering out what will soon be the 21st Century Learner Program.

A preview of the program is open to the public from 6 to 8:30 tonight at the Dysart Unified School District office, 15802 N. Parkview Place. Parents and other attendees will be asked to offer input on the program.

It is possible that the new program will change Dysart's foreign language requirements for graduation, as well as the entire school curriculum, program spokeswoman Erica Stoddard.

The goal is to make U.S. students competitors for international jobs. Fewer than 1 percent of American students study the languages that the U.S. State Department calls critically important to diplomacy, security and economic development. Nearly three-fifths of American students study no foreign language at all, Stoddard said.

According to program coordinators, 20 percent of U.S. jobs are tied to international trade.

Local community, government and academic leaders will be present at tonight's meeting.
Edition: Final Chaser
Section: Surprise Republic
Page: 1