The Global Cities Education Network (GCEN), an initiative of the Asia Society Center for Global Education, is an international learning community of city school systems in Asia and North America. School systems are rethinking the knowledge and skills students need for success and the educational strategies and systems required for all children to achieve them. In both Asia and North America, urban school systems are at the locus of change in policy and practice—at once the sites of the most critical challenges in education and the engines of innovation needed to address them.
Working with Asia Society staff and experts around the world, teams of high-ranking school system and city officials cities across Asia and North America collaborate to identify common, high-priority problems, research best practices, and then develop effective, practical solutions that can be adapted to varying cultural and political contexts. GCEN seeks to share promising practices to develop system responses to systemic education problems, ultimately improving education for all students.
The participating cities are Denver, Hiroshima, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Houston, Lexington, and Toronto. By participating in the network, cities receive expertise and access to the latest international benchmarking research and practice; expertise from around the world, including Asia Society’s decades of work in this arena; implementation support and tools via technical assistance from Asia Society and participating experts; and membership in a global urban learning community. We then seek to share learning more broadly with the educational community.
A critical element of high-performing school systems is that they not only benchmark the practices of other countries, they also systematically adapt and implement these practices within their own cultural and political contexts. GCEN is intended as a mechanism for educators and decision-makers in Asia and North America to collaboratively dream, design, and deliver internationally informed solutions to common challenges with which education systems are currently grappling.