Dover, Del.–December 7, 2005 Delaware’s Department of Education (DOE) has been named co-recipient of the 2005 Goldman Sachs Foundation Prizes for Excellence in International Education. The Department will receive an award of $12,500 and will be honored at a ceremony on December 8th in Washington, D.C.
Delaware, along with Kentucky, was chosen by the prize jury in recognition of its distinguished recent track record and current leadership to promote international knowledge and skills in the state. Delaware was selected from more than 450 educational institutions, media and technology organizations and other states that are working to bring greater knowledge of other world religions, languages and cultures to students and teachers. These organizations reach over 20 million students and families worldwide. The Goldman Sachs Foundation and Asia Society sponsor the $125,000 prizes program.
“We are delighted to receive this award in recognition of our effort,” said Valerie A. Woodruff, Secretary of Education. Dr. Shuhan Wang, DOE’s Education Associate for World Languages and International Education stated, “International education in Delaware is not about adding more courses to its curricula. Rather, it is about ensuring that Delaware students will develop a body of knowledge, skills, perspectives and experiences that will enable them to become successful global citizens and leaders in the 21st century.”
The international education awards program comes at a time when educators and policy makers are sounding alarms over U.S. students lack of sufficient knowledge about other world regions, languages and cultures. “There is a shameful and inexcusable gap between American students’ knowledge of other countries, cultures and languages and the escalating importance of this knowledge to our nation’s economic prosperity and national security,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, President of the foundation.
Surveys conducted by Asia Society and the National Geographic Society show a huge gap in most students’ knowledge about the growing importance of Asia and other world regions to the nation’s economic prosperity and national security. In addition, recent reports from the Southern Growth Policies Board, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and Harvard’s curriculum review committee conclude that most K-12 students will not be able to be effective employees of globally-oriented work organizations.
According to Dr. Michael Levine, Executive Director of Education at the Asia Society, many of the international educational programs that they have reviewed show tremendous creativity in promoting rich, engaging instruction and promoting the new skills students need now more than ever. “These programs demonstrate how a global focus can improve the quality of teaching, while motivating and inspiring students’ curiosity to explore beyond their borders,” said Levine.Delaware has demonstrated an impressive track record in the following initiatives:
- Professional Development: Delaware has developed professional development clusters for teachers to enhance their knowledge and skills about the world.
- Survey and Report: DOE, the University of Delaware and the International Council of Delaware conducted and reported an analysis of Delaware’s capacity in international education in 2004.
- MOUs: Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with Japan and are under development with China and Spain.
- Delaware Statewide Conferences: Several statewide conferences have been held to allow teachers to examine instructional strategies and best practices in model programs of IE.
- World Language Teacher Study Abroad Scholarships: Under various local and federal grants, DOE has been offering scholarships for teachers to study abroad outside of traditional nations.
- Delaware-Miyagi Education Exchange Program: This two-week reciprocal cultural homestay exchange program has brought Delaware and Japanese students and educators together.
- Civitas: The International Civic Education Exchange Program is a cooperative project of civic education organizations in the United States and emerging or established democracies throughout the world.
- Statewide Curriculum Development: This is just beginning, but the goal is to create a curriculum that integrates IE across all subjects. It will be shared with all states.
About Asia Society
Asia Society is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and deepening understanding among the peoples of Asia and the United States. The Society operates cultural, policy, business, social issues, and education programs. Headquartered in New York City, the organization has centers in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C. and will open a center in Mumbai in 2006.
About The Goldman Sachs Foundation
The Goldman Sachs Foundation is a global philanthropic organization funded by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is to promote excellence and innovation in education and to improve the academic performance and lifelong productivity of young people worldwide. Funded in 1999, the Foundation has awarded grants in excess of $54 million since its inception, providing opportunities for young people in more than 20 countries.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
Other Press Releases