NEA, EchoStar and Future View to Announce Safe School Partnership; President Clinton Applauds High-Tech Alliance
In response to the tragic shootings near Littleton, Colo.,
EchoStar, a direct broadcast satellite TV company, has joined with NEA
and Future View to become partners in an innovative, high-tech school
safety program. NEA and the Learning First Alliance will develop
programming to be broadcast to EchoStar's 18-inch satellite dishes.
"As a Littleton-based company, we realize the importance of
instituting educational programs geared toward promoting safe
schools," says Charlie Ergen, CEO and chairman of EchoStar.
"EchoStar's donation of 1,000 satellite TV systems and air time makes
it possible to beam educational programming about school safety
directly to the doorsteps of schools across America to make our
schools as safe as possible."
President Clinton is challenging other members of the business
community and media outlets to donate resources so that every school
district will be able to receive the benefit of the NEA and Learning
First Alliance programming.
"It is time for every adult in America to start taking it
personally that children are killing children," says Bob Chase,
president of the 2.4-million member NEA. "EchoStar is taking it
personally and taking personal responsibility to make a difference in
children's lives. Thanks to this public-private partnership, we will
be able to reach thousands of communities across America with
effective techniques that schools and communities can employ."
The school safety programming will assist teachers,
administrators, counselors, parents and law enforcement officers in
identifying early warning signs of potentially violent behavior in
students. Video content will include organizing strategies for schools
and communities to promote personal responsibility and safety among
students, and ways to have a personal connection between each student
and at least one responsible adult in the school community. The
programming will include helping troubled students and setting up
common-sense school security measures.
"There is no other technology that can deliver a message with the
urgency and immediacy of a direct broadcast satellite," said David
Hanrahan, CEO of Future View. "This will be a dramatic network
involving thousands of parents, teachers and students in a dialogue
about one of our most pressing issues."
"The partners of the Learning First Alliance are excited about
working together to provide schools and communities with concrete,
research-based strategies for making schools safe and supportive
places of learning," says Brenda Welburn, executive director of the
National Association of State Boards of Education and a leader of the
Learning First Alliance on this issue.
EchoStar, Future View, NEA and the Learning First Alliance will
begin broadcasting the school safety programming in the fall of 1999
to 1,000 schools nationwide. Details regarding application procedures
will be made available at the NEA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., on
EchoStar will broadcast President Clinton's announcement about
the EchoStar and NEA partnership live on DISH Network satellite TV
systems to hundreds of schools and all of its customers on Monday from
12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.
The National Education Association is the nation's largest
professional employee organization, representing more than 2.4 million
elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education
support personnel, school administrators, retired educators, and
students preparing to become teachers.
EchoStar is the nation's second largest direct broadcast
satellite (DBS) company. EchoStar's DISH Network currently serves over
2.3 million customers. The DISH Network uses a state-of-the-art DBS
system that provides over 300 channels of digital video and CD-quality
audio programming. In addition, EchoStar Technologies Corporation
designs, manufactures and distributes DBS set-top boxes, antennas and
other digital equipment nationally and abroad. EchoStar's Satellite
Services provide video, audio and data to business television and
Future View, Inc. is a privately held, Washington, D.C.-based
company that develops and operates private, direct broadcast networks
for corporations and associations. Among the networks conceived and
managed is HeadUps, a network for the national Head Start Association.
The Learning First Alliance is an unprecedented permanent
collaboration of 12 leading education organizations, including the
NEA, that have joined together to improve student learning. These
organizations, which represent more than 10 million parents, teachers,
school administrators and other educators are working together toward
long-term change of the education system based on shared values and
solid research evidence. One of the Alliance's core goals is ensuring
a positive and supportive place of learning for all students. Members
of the Alliance include the American Association of Colleges for
Teacher Education, American Association of School Administrators,
American Federation of Teachers, Association for Supervision and
Curriculum Development, Council of Chief State School Officers,
Education Commission of the States, National Association of Elementary
School Principals, National Association of Secondary Principals,
National State Boards of Education, National Parent Teacher
Association and the National School Boards Association.
For more information: Gabrielle Cassell Lange, NEA, (202)
822-7296; Kathleen Lyons, NEA, (202) 822-7213, pager: (800) 275-9469;
Future View, David Hanrahan, (202) 296-1700
CONTACT: EchoStar Communications Corp. Judianne Atencio, 303/723-2010 firstname.lastname@example.org Marc Lumpkin, 303/723-2020 email@example.com