MA Awarded Goldman Sachs Award for Excellence in International Education- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106

MA Awarded Goldman Sachs Award for Excellence in International Education

BOSTON - The State of Massachusetts has been awarded the Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for Excellence in International Education in the State category.

This year's winners of the awards program, sponsored by The Goldman Sachs Foundation and Asia Society, will be honored at a luncheon ceremony at Asia Society's New York City headquarters on May 31, 2007. Massachusetts is one of four winners for this year's prizes, who will each receive $25,000. A separate group of scholarship prizes are awarded every fall to outstanding high school students who submit written or multi-media applications demonstrating their knowledge of international affairs.

Since its inception in 2003, the competition has drawn over 600 applications from across the country. Schools, media and technology and state policy leaders in the applicant pool are all striving to make international knowledge and skills a key part of a 21st century education and together reach millions of students and families.

Since its inception three years ago, the Massachusetts Initiative for International Studies (MIIS), a public-private partnership of leaders in business, policy, and education, has championed a statewide initiative to promote global competence in Massachusetts' schools.

Led by Primary Source, the statewide coalition has spearheaded key policy initiatives, including the introduction of legislation to promote international education and the creation of a Global Education Advisory Council to the Massachusetts State Department of Education. Under the umbrella of MIIS, four statewide conferences have been held to promote resources and best practices to schools and teachers, new world language programs have been established and international school partnerships expanded.

Through its conferences, MIIS has delivered the message of the timeliness of global education to CEOs, policy makers and school administrators in 2003, 2004 and 2005. At their 2007 conference MIIS shared their mission and best practices with over 300 teachers from districts in the commonwealth.

In collaboration with AIGWorldSource, MIIS has twice offered Awards for Excellence to districts and teachers for creative and significant progress in developing an international focus in schools. Burlington and Shrewsbury won the 2006 and 2007 district awards, and Marcy Prager, 2nd grade teacher from the Driscoll School in Brookline, won the 2007 teacher award. The Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) will make global education the focus of its annual summer institute. The Massachusetts Association of School Committees will spotlight "Education without Boundaries" featuring global education at their annual conference.

Under the umbrella of MIIS education organizations in the state have implemented programs to expand world languages, form international partnerships and establish resource networks. The number of Massachusetts schools offering Mandarin Chinese has doubled in the past three years. Leading school districts in Massachusetts are now taking big steps to get their students ready for work in the global economy of today. MIIS, the Department of Education Advisory Council, The China Exchange, Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Latin American Studies, BU's Africa Studies Center, AIGWorldSource, EF Education, and Fidelity Investments are all actively assisting this initiative.

"In recognition of these efforts, the Goldman Sachs Foundation has awarded the State prize to Massachusetts and MIIS for excellence in international education," said David Driscoll, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education. "This will be seen as a milestone in the emergence of comprehensive global education for all students in our state."

"The prizes program is helping leaders rethink what it means to be an educated American in the 21st century," said Vishakha N. Desai, President of Asia Society. "In a global age, diverse countries and cultural groups will be responsible for building the foundation for a shared future. While we are delighted by these innovations to build an internationally literate citizenry, the pace of change must now be scaled up by decision-makers at all levels."

"Emerging interconnectedness brings the promise of new markets and new levels of prosperity, but also demands a new kind of leadership-one that is internationally fluent. These award recipients are equipping the next generation of leaders with the critical international knowledge and skills they will need to lead successfully in our global society," said Stephanie Bell-Rose, President of The Goldman Sachs Foundation.

Last Updated: May 24, 2007

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