SiteofWeek090810REDU is a new web site from Microsoft Corp. powered by the company’s Bing search engine, that aims to help parents, teachers, students, and education advocates learn more about the state of U.S. education, have conversations about education, and take action to bring about change.

The new site provides links to current events and issues, a forum for discussion, and ways for people to take action as the United States tries to remodel its approach to education, says Cameron Evans, Microsoft’s U.S. Education chief technology officer. U.S. public education is at a crossroads, Evans says, and discussions about educational issues have reached a crescendo, whether they are about teacher quality, lack of school funding, or academic performance.

“These aren’t problems that can be solved in one administrative term or election cycle, and it’s overwhelming for one corporation, political party, or community organization to think about alone,” Evans says. “The focus of REDU is to take these voices and put them together to bring about change.”

Along with presenting key information and encouraging dialog, REDU has tools and resources to help people take action, whether that’s donating money to local classroom projects or finding out how to become a teacher in their state, explains Adam Sohn, a senior director of online services at Microsoft.

“There’s a lot going on, but there isn’t one place where people can come and participate in a discussion,” Sohn says. “REDU is a good way for us to help people participate in one of the most important conversations that will happen in America over the next decade.”

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Jeff Festa