Global Education Leaders Convene in Denver for Annual Symposium

DENVER, November 3, 2017 – Educators and education leaders from around the world will convene in Denver next week for the annual symposium of the Global Cities Education Network (GCEN), an initiative of the Center for Global Education at Asia Society, in partnership with Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the University of Colorado Denver.

GCEN is an international learning community of city school systems in Asia and North America. Participating cities include Denver, Hangzhou, Hiroshima, Hong Kong, Houston, Lexington, Melbourne, Seattle, Shanghai, Singapore and Toronto. Together, the network works to build strong school systems by supporting education leaders in understanding effective policy and practice and considering practical applications. DPS, a diverse urban district, has seen considerable progress in the last ten years, including decreased dropout rates, increased graduation rates and academic achievement on test scores, and increased enrollment of students who had previously left the public-school system.

The GCEN network is in Denver to discuss and explore improvements driven by strategies targeting both system- and school-level improvement, led by consistency of vision and senior leadership. Topics include increased opportunity for choice, a culture of equity, an expansion of the role of teacher leadership, growing career and technical education options, and a willingness to learn and innovate. The University of Colorado Denver is partnering with DPS and Asia Society to host the week’s events, including a symposium Nov. 6–9, a public forum on Nov. 8 and a two-day workshop on Nov. 9–10.

Catalyzed in part by learning through GCEN, and working in partnership with state and community partners, DPS has embarked on transformative college and career readiness initiatives to prepare students to be successful in any career path they choose. A particular focus of the learning will be Denver's work to apply innovations and ideas from around the world, including efforts to adapt career and technical education models from Switzerland and provide students the opportunity to earn an industry certificate and up to an associate's degree—completely free—while in high school. GCEN members and national partnerships will explore Denver's lessons learned, and DPS will learn emerging worldwide practices to better support all students. The DPS Teacher Leadership & Collaboration program will also be shared and discussed with global leaders as applying quality practices for supporting teachers.

"Working with colleagues globally allows for an open dialogue, and Denver is a leader in preparing all students for success in our global future with a willingness to thoughtfully learn and apply successful lessons from around the world," said Asia Society's Vice President of Education and Center for Global Education Director Tony Jackson. "We are eager to both share their progress, as well as learn from their successes and challenges."

"I'm delighted that DPS is partnering the Global Cities Education Network to hold their Denver symposium, which will bring together educators from around the world," said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg. "Learning from and with some of the best education systems in the world has improved our thinking and sharpened our goals. We are eager to share our lessons with the network as we all strive to provide high-quality, equitable education across our respective systems. It is through this concrete learning and dialogue that DPS improves and continues to lead."

The public forum on Nov. 8, hosted by University of Colorado Denver, will focus on how school districts and communities around the world are developing multiple, versatile pathways for young people to allow them flexible opportunities for work and lifelong learning.

Speakers at the forum will include: Tony Jackson, Vice President of Education, Asia Society; Rebecca Kantor, Dean, School of Education and Human Development, University of Colorado Denver; Anthony Mackay, CEO, Center for Strategic Education, Australia; Tom Boasberg, Superintendent, Denver Public Schools; Noel Ginsburg, CEO, Intertech Plastics, and Chairman of the Board, CareerWise Colorado; Nancy Hoffman, Senior Advisor and Co-Founder of the Pathways to Prosperity Network, Jobs for the Future; Andi Rugg, Executive Director Skillful Colorado, Markle Foundation; and Whitney S. Smith, Executive Director, Central Region, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

"We are excited to be partners with Denver Public Schools and the Asia Society in welcoming leaders from around the world to the University of Colorado Denver," said Rebecca Kantor, Dean of the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver. "The topic of the weeklong seminar is pathways from secondary schools to career and work and how they can be offered side-by-side with pathways to college and universities. On both pathways, direct experience is valued and emphasized. Our own graduates represent a blend of scholarship and hands-on experience as teachers, learners and innovators."

Whitney Smith, Executive Director of the Central Region at JPMorgan Chase & Co., spoke about JP Morgan Chase & Co.'s commitment to building new skills at work. "We're changing the conversation around the global skills gap by investing in building a demand-driven system through cross-sector collaboration, strengthening and scaling workforce training, and using localized data analysis to identify and address the greatest skills gap at local and global levels."

For more information about the symposium or the forum, please contact Heather Singmaster: You may also register for the free public forum online.

About the Center for Global Education at Asia Society

Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the people, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. The Center for Global Education at Asia Society drives education transformation in the U.S., Asia, and around the world to develop a generation of global citizens able to thrive in a global economy and address the world’s most intractable problems. Learn more at

About CU Denver

As Colorado’s only public urban research university, CU Denver educates a diverse student body through quality academics, ambitious research and creative work, and civic engagement in the city we call home. We educate more than 14,000 students at CU Denver, our comprehensive campus in downtown Denver. You can choose from more than 100 programs in 8 schools and colleges at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. All students are exposed to the powerful combination of immersive classroom and real-world experiences, while the city benefits from well educated, top talent and a new generation that fuels the future of Denver and our region. Learn more at

About Denver Public Schools

Denver Public Schools is committed to meeting the educational needs of every child with great schools in every neighborhood. Our goal is to provide every child in Denver with rigorous, joyful and personalized learning experiences from preschool through high school graduation. DPS comprises approximately 200 schools, including traditional, innovation, magnet, charter and pathways schools, with a current total enrollment of more than 92,000 students. Of those, 58% of the school district’s enrollment is Latino, 21% is white and 14% is African-American. Seventy-one percent of the district’s students qualify for federal meal subsidies, an indicator of poverty. Under the leadership of Superintendent Tom Boasberg and guided by the tenets of the Denver Plan, DPS has become one of the fastest-growing urban school districts in the country in terms of enrollment, and among the fastest-growing large school districts in Colorado in terms of academic growth. Learn more at

About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

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2017 GCEN Events