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The Global Ed Yellow Pages

» State Departments of Education- U.S. (N-W)

At least three attempts were made to acquire information about initiatives in global/international education from each of the 50 state departments of education in the U.S. and 13 provincial or territorial ministries of education in Canada. In the end, responses were received from 40 states and all but two provinces and territories. As readers shall see, these responses varied from very minimal to very thorough. An unfortunate conclusion is drawn from these responses. That is, currently there is an inordinate preoccupation with accountability and standards, so much so that in many departments and ministries there no longer are people assigned to be in charge of usual curriculum areas such as social studies education or even science education.  This preoccupation, of course, is caused in the U.S. by the federal No-Child-Left-Behind Law (NCLB) and federal funding and testing strings attached to it.
It is assumed that the Canadians have been influenced by NCLB, also. If one were inclined to track this movement back, probably it could be determined that an over- reliance on minimal outcome measurements came from two sources: (1) the Thatcher reforms in U.K. education in the late 80’s and (2) the libertarian economic policies spawned at the University of Chicago in the U.S. and carried forward by the subsequent emergence of neo-right wing politics in the 90s in both nations. Unfortunately, one outcome of this movement has been to limit the ability of states, provinces and territories, school districts and schools to implement badly needed global and/or international education programs for the children and youth of North America.
In this environment, three kinds of responses were received from departments and ministries of education, as follows:
1. No response (10 states, 2 provinces and territories).
2. Responses that indicated that standards (with associated assessment), while mostly focused upon national studies, do include some global/international education content. In addition, they often have web links with global/international education content; and they support the training of teachers in the use of instructional technology (6 states). This is referred to below as the “standard” response (no pun intended).
3. Responses that, in addition to what is stated in #2 above, describe additional department global/ international education initiatives (34 states, 11 provinces and territories). These, of course, are of most interest to global/international educators and offer some guidance for state departments and ministries that would like to encourage more of a global perspective in the schools of their states.

+ - Nebraska

Nebraska Department of Education - Standard response. In addition, the Nebraska Department of Education sponsors teacher exchange programs with Spain and Germany as well as summer volunteer programs in Mexico and Nepal and an embassy internship in Germany.

+ - Nevada

+ - New Hampshire

+ - New Jersey

State of New Jersey Department of Education - Standard response. In addition, in 2003, the New Jersey Department of Education conducted a survey on world languages and international program being offered in New Jersey public schools. In 2004, the Department convened an International Education Summit and drafted a 5-year strategic plan for submission to the Governor and State Board of Education. New Jersey students are required to study a world language in grades K-8. The Department sponsors teacher exchanges with France, Spain, and Italy.

+ - New Mexico

New Mexico Public Education Department - Standard response. In addition, the New Mexico Department of Education held an International Education Summit in 2004. The summit assessed existing international activities, challenges and opportunities facing the State, and potential partnerships with Mexico, other Latin American countries and organizations representing Native American Tribes and immigrant communities. The summit is to result in a plan to integrate international content into various education reform initiatives, including the state’s high school reform movement. The Department sponsors teacher exchange programs with Spain, Japan, Russia, and Germany; and short-term student exchanges with Spain.

+ - New York

+ - North Carolina

Public Schools of North Carolina - Standard response. In addition, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has sponsored the North Carolina Alliance for the Promotion of International Studies and Program Development. This initiative is designed to:
1. Engage business, community, professional groups, and other state agencies in support of international education.
2 Develop a model for coordinating professional development in global awareness and international understanding.
3. Promote international education, including the support of learning foreign languages and in-depth knowledge of other cultures.
4. Survey the existing talents and resources within the state and assess needs.
5. Influence policy makers in embracing greater emphasis on international understanding in the K-12 curriculum.
The Department has signed a Memorandum with the Spanish Government and the Visiting International Faculty Program (VIF) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to bring teachers from many different countries to teach in North Carolina. The Department supports the work of the North Carolina Center for International Understanding which provides a variety of experiential learning opportunities for North Carolina policy leaders, K-12 educators and citizens. The state of North Carolina was the recipient of the 2004 Goldman Sachs Prize for International Education in the State Category.

+ - North Dakota

+ - Ohio

Ohio Department of Education - Standard response. In addition, the Ohio Department of Education supports a number of teacher and student exchange programs, particularly for foreign language teachers.

+ - Oklahoma

+ - Oregon

Oregon Department of Education - Standard response, including sample lessons and other instructional resources.

+ - Pennsylvania

+ - South Carolina

South Carolina State Department of Education - Standard response with the addition that specific teaching ideas have been developed for standards connected to international education and the official integration of international education into the social studies is being promoted. The Department sponsors teacher exchanges with Spain, China, and India. A video promoting awareness of China’s presence in the state was produced in cooperation with the South Carolina Public Broadcasting System.

+ - South Dakota

+ - Tennessee

+ - Texas

Texas Education Agency - Standard response. In addition, the Texas Education Agency has for many years sponsored a large number of exchange programs for teachers and students with Spain that have enhanced language mastery and cultural understanding.

+ - Utah

Utah State Office of Education - Standard response. In addition, the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) continues to search for ways to collaborate with agencies and organizations regarding global education in addition to the professional development it provides to teachers of history and geography. The USOE social studies website provides links to the agencies and associations in the state that work to provide global education.

+ - Vermont

State of Vermont Department of Education - Standard response. In addition, the Governor’s Council on International Education in Vermont was charged by Governor Jim Douglas to assess the status of international education in Vermont schools, to identify the best practices in international education, and to make policy recommendations on international education to government agencies. The Department has created an awards program to recognize excellence in international education.

+ - Virginia

Virginia Department of Education - Standard response. In addition, the following initiatives have been undertaken:
1. World Net: Virginia Study Seminars offer teachers and administrators opportunities for professional development through study seminars in selected foreign countries., including Germany, Israel, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Peru, and Russia.
2. Geography Connects is a free, interactive online course for Virginia teachers which supports the World History Standards.
3. The Virginia Center for the Teaching of International Studies is a partnership of the Virginia Department of Education, the Greater Richmond World Affairs Council, Virginia Commonwealth University, and several other organizations. The Center is committed to teaching current international issues to Virginia’s middle and high school teachers.
4. Virginia participates in the Teaching East Asia Grant that provides teachers with instruction and resources on East Asia. The Department supplements the resources.
5. The Department sponsors a teacher exchange program with Japan, student travel programs in Russia and Peru, and the Visiting Faculty Program (VIF) which brings highly qualified educators to teach for from one to three years.

+ - Washington

State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction - Standard response. In addition, the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction sponsors visiting teacher programs with Spain and Mexico and a teacher exchange program with Australia. The Office is conducting a survey to determine the status of world language teaching in the state. The Bilingual Education Program is encouraging the development of dual immersion language programs. The Office participates fully in the Washington State Coalition for International Education which has generated momentum among practitioners across the state. The coalition has produced a resource guide for the state’s teachers as well as an International Education website.

+ - West Virginia

West Virginia Department of Education - Standard response. In addition, the West Virginia Governor’s Commission on International Education released a report, Preparing a Citizenry for the Global Age, in 2004. The report documents the need for international education in the state, current programs, and recommendations to improve public awareness, use of technology, world language study, and K-16 partnerships. A web site, West Virginia and the World, has been established. The Department of Education facilitates the State’s teachers participation in Fulbright exchange programs. It also sponsors an annual International Education Week, and produces a document outlining sample activities and activities engaged in by schools in past years.

+ - Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction - Standard response. In addition, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is involved in many global/international education initiatives such as:
1.      Since 1990, the DPI has had an International Education Consultant to work with a variety of teacher international exchanges, curriculum and professional development in global studies, and coordination with other agencies interested in global education as well as other State education consultants (e.g., World Languages, Bicultural/Bilingual Education, Agriculture Education).
2.      Descriptions and contact information for more than 50 organizations involved with international education are included in the DPI’s list of resources in its curriculum guide. The guide also identifies more than 30 model programs in international education.
3.      Teacher exchange programs are sponsored with Germany, Japan, Laos and Thailand. Teacher and student exchanges are carried out with Puerto Rico.
4.      Major emphasis has been put upon increasing both the quantity and quality of World Language instruction in Wisconsin schools, including the promotion of language instruction at the elementary school level. The DPI also supports a number of foreign language immersion and magnet school programs.
5.      The DPI, working with a number of other agencies, co-sponsors workshops and summer institutes dedicated to increasing global literacy.
6.      The DPI frequently produces and distributes publications focused upon global/international education.
7.      The Department has its own International Education Home Page.
8.      The State Superintendent of Education, Elizabeth Burmaster, has spoken quite eloquently at a number of venues on the importance of the topic Internationalizing Our Schools. The texts of many of these presentations can be downloaded at the Home Page cited in #7 above.
9.      The DPI sponsors a listserv for people interested in global/international education (  in Wisconsin and beyond, that announces travel, in-service, publication, and a variety of other opportunities that can further the goal of globalizing the curriculum of schools.

+ - Wyoming

Wyoming Department of Education - Standard response. In addition, a program of world language learning for primary school students has been implemented. Also, the Department of Education supports school districts that implement international student exchanges. In past years, the Department supported a program called SAXoPhone, which originated in upstate New York and also involved schools in Florida, Texas, Great Britain and Sweden. Students met on-line several times a year and shared lessons such as the analysis of works of literature. Unfortunately, Wyoming schools no longer participate.
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