High School Reform: Preparing Students for College and Beyond

State Governments Respond to Globalization

States are working on graduating high school students with highly relevant knowledge and skills. Photo: iStockPhoto.

As states are redesigning high schools, some are revising graduation requirements to include global skills. Others are developing internationally themed high schools to serve as models for how to produce students who are college-ready and globally competent and as sources of professional development.

  • School districts in New York, California, Texas, Colorado, and North Carolina, with support from Asia Society and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are creating internationally themed secondary schools to produce students who are college-ready and globally competent, demonstrate the added value of global competencies, and improve achievement and increase graduation rates.
  • The Arizona Department of Education, all three state universities, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management are working together to create pilot schools of international studies in Arizona. The goal is for students to begin learning a new world languagein kindergarten, a second language in sixth grade, and a third language in ninth grade. The schools will also include international content throughout the curriculum as well as exchange programs.
  • New York requires a course (typically two years) and state assessment in Global History and Geography to graduate with a Regents diploma.
  • Pennsylvania is redesigning secondary education by integrating technology-related professional development to change teaching practices. It is also offering dual enrollment programs through which high school students can take college-level world language and content classes.
  • Texas has added an international dimension to its statewide STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) schools initiative which includes the integration of world knowledge across the curriculum
    and the introduction of international benchmarks to compare school progress.