Submitted: The Two Sides Team October 16, 2012
It is vital that government, business – indeed, all of society – remain engaged to ensure that children get the education they deserve, and employers get the educated workforce they need.
From John D. Williams, President and CEO of Domtar
I read with great interest about U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncans recent visit to Charlotte. I congratulate the Secretary for the progress he has made during his time in office. While I appreciate Secretary Duncans recognition of the tasks that lie ahead, and the many challenges facing the countrys education system, I must take exception to a comment he made in a recent speech to the National Press Club that over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete.
Since being named president and CEO of Domtar, one of North Americas largest producers of business, office, printing and publishing papers, I have worked hard to promote a reasonable balance of pixels and print. Statements that textbooks should be made obsolete create a false choice. The reality is that paper textbooks and electronic devices, when used together, offer the best chances for success in educating a student.
Considerable research has been done on papers educational value, suggesting that most students learn better when reading from a paper book than from a computer screen. Consider:
It is vital that government, business indeed, all of society remain engaged to ensure that children get the education they deserve, and employers get the educated workforce they need. Our operational headquarters are in Fort Mill, and were proud of our donations to Classroom Central. Were also proud of our collaboration with Natural Logic Inc. to help people decide when to print materials and when to read them on a screen, part of our effort to contribute to the debate around the role of paper in a digital age. And Im proud of our effort to work with the Rainforest Alliance, the World Wildlife Fund and other environmental groups so that we have a remarkably green story to tell.
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