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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Richard Vespucci
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: April 27, 2005

DOE Receives Grant for Regional Forums on International Education

The New Jersey Department of Education has received a $15,000 grant that it will use over the next year to spur development of a statewide approach to increase knowledge about international education.

The department intends to use the funds from the Longview Foundation to hold regional discussion forums that will lay the groundwork for a plan to increase knowledge and support of international education among New Jersey students and educators. A statewide task force on international education will use information gleaned from the forums to develop a five-year plan designed to infuse international knowledge and skills into New Jersey's Core Curriculum Content Standards.

"We are so pleased that the Longview Foundation has recognized our commitment to develop an awareness and respect for international education in our schools," said Commissioner of Education William L. Librera. "In November 2003, we joined the State Board of Education in starting an initiative to support international education. This grant will take us one step closer to our goal of a statewide plan to incorporate international skills into the teaching of all areas of our curriculum, for all grades."

The New Jersey International Education Initiative was implemented in response to a national initiative led by the Asia Society following a report issued in 2001 by the National Commission on Asia in the Schools. The report in part found that American students lacked knowledge about Asia's importance to the world in terms of population growth and economic ties to the United States and other countries.

Last fall, the state hosted an International Education Summit to stimulate interest and knowledge among teams of teachers, administrators and curriculum coordinators on how to prepare students for the challenges of an increasingly global workforce.

The regional discussion forums, which will be scheduled from September to November 2005, will be presented by 2004 New Jersey Teacher of the Year Peggy Stewart, a social studies teacher in Sussex County who has an extensive background in international education. She recently spent several weeks in China as part of a professional development program and has been a frequent presenter throughout the state on topics related to international education.

The forums are designed to:

  • Continue to raise awareness about international education;
  • Increase networking among educators and schools that are currently infusing international knowledge and skills into their curricula with schools that are not; and
  • Disseminate best practices and encourage collaboration with institutions of higher education.

The Longview Foundation for Education in World Affairs and International Understanding, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization founded to help elementary and secondary students, teachers and teacher educators in the United States to develop the knowledge, attitudes, values, and skills for responsible citizenship in a complex, interdependent world.