Said advisory group co-chair Janet Napolitano, former governor of Arizona and current secretary of Homeland Security for the Obama administration, "The time is now; we must ensure that our students are prepared to compete and innovate in the 21st century".
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's Program for International Student Assessment:
Finland ranked first out of 30 industrialized countries in 2006 in math and science and in 2003 was first out of 29 countries in reading and second in problem solving. Korea came in first in math in 2006, second in reading in 2003, and first in problem solving in 2003.
American 15-year-olds ranked 25th in math and 21st in science achievement on the most recent international assessments in 2006.
And what is Finland's position on educational technology?
An official publication of the Finnish government called "Education, Training and Research in Information Society: A National Strategy for 2000-2004" states:
By the year 2004, Finland will be a leading interactive knowledge society. Success will be based on citizens' equal opportunities to study and develop their own intellectual capacity and extensively utilize information resources and educational services. A high-quality, ethically and economically sustainable mode of operation in network-based teaching and research will have been established (Ministry of Education 2001).
Further evidence for Finland's commitment to educational technology and the development of an interactive knowledge society can be found in these publications housed by UNESCO's Observatory Portal.