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Businesses Helping Design School Curriculums

By Amy Woods   |   Monday, 29 Aug 2011 03:40 AM

Big businesses in Minnesota and beyond not only are signing checks for public schools, but also are helping design their curriculums, according to the Star Tribune.
“I’m seeing a move toward more advising and sharing business perspective than just cutting a check,” said Kathy Christie, of the Education Commission of the States in Colorado. “Businesses would rather go that way. They see a value of working with the schools.”

Collaborations across the country include IBM sponsoring the creation of a computer science-focused high school in New York City, and a Nashville, Tenn., credit union opening a student-run bank branch in a high-school cafeteria.

“We have the youngest bank tellers in the state of Tennessee,” said Aimee Wyatt, a former principal at Antioch High School. “It’s been a win-win. They have to be prepared for the workforce.”

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton publicly asked corporate leaders to “adopt” local schools, the Star Tribune reported.

Businesses have answered.

Cargill, General Mills, and Medtronic have established a $2.8 million, three-year leadership-development program for Minneapolis school principals.
“In the past, we wrote a check and said, ‘Good luck, Minneapolis public schools,’ ” said Ellen Luger, of General Mills. “Here, we’ve collaborated with other businesses, and we’re bringing our expertise through our employees.”

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