How to Transform Schools

State Governments Respond to Globalization

Desk and chair. (iStockPhoto)

Asia Society has worked with 25 states for nearly a decade on ways to transform educational policy and practice to produce world-class education systems. The leaders of these initiatives generally agree the ingredients for success include

  • Working with schools to establish a school-based mission statements and graduate profiles and creating a school culture that supports internationally focused teaching and learning.
  • Recruiting teachers with international interests and encouraging teachers to take advantage of the many professional development and study/travel opportunities offered through universities and international organizations.
  • Integrating international content into all curriculum areas, bringing a global dimension to science and language arts as well as social studies and languages.
  • Emphasizing the learning of world languages, including less commonly taught languages like Chinese and Arabic.
  • Expanding student perspectives and experiences through internationally oriented service learning, internships, and partnerships and exchanges with schools in other countries.
  • Promoting the use of technology to help schools tap global information sources, create international collaborations, and offer international courses and languages online, especially to underserved communities.

How are these goals reached? There are no shortage of paths. Because states share sovereignty with the federal government and because the U.S. education system is highly decentralized, states have pursued pragmatic solutions best fitted for their circumstance. See examples of how different states have used policy and programmatic means to achieve a common end.

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