Tag Archives: Asia Society

Is American educating its kids for the past or the future?


Stumbled across this incredible report on globalization by the Asia Society. I’ve included a brief summary below with links to more. But the three points that stick out for me:

  • America’s markets are mostly abroad. Ninety-five percent of consumers and three-quarters of the world’s purchasing power are outside U.S. borders.
  • Globalization means domestic job growth. One out of every five American jobs is currently tied to international trade. Twenty-four states have seen greater than 100 percent growth over a 20-year period; some states, like Maine, are approaching 200 percent job growth in this sector.
  • America is educating its students for the past, not the future. In California, for instance, only 15 percent of students learn a foreign language, and the vast majority does not go beyond an introductory level.

From the report:

Asia Society, together with Longview Foundation and SAS, released Mapping the Nation, an interactive map that shows how 3,000 U.S. counties are connected globally. It also uses available education data that points to a dearth of knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the global economy. One thing is clear: there is a tremendous gap between demand for a globally competent workforce, and the supply that is currently coming out of America’s schools and universities.

The real lesson here is this is not the responsibility of the education system alone. It takes a clear understanding of America’s economic and demographic context, as well as public and political will, to give educators the support they need to help keep the United States and its workforce strong.”

Utah Chinese language programs recognized as tops

Three of Utah’s Chinese language programs made the Asia Society’s top 100, including the Renaissance Academy, a charter school with immersion programs nurtured by Stacy Lyon, Utah’s new Chinese Immersion Director. The other Utah schools recognized are Syracuse Junior High School and West High School.

The “Confucius Classrooms” network of exemplary programs comprises more than 25,000 students at 100 elementary, middle and high schools in 27 states and DC. According to the Asia Society, “the network not only recognizes excellence in Chinese language teaching, it is also the beginning of an ongoing field-building process with the goal of establishing high-quality, sustainable Chinese language programs in all regions of the United States.”

Each “Confucius Classroom” works with a school in China to enhance instruction through exchanges and joint projects.

“The Network features online communities, targeted professional development for Chinese language teachers in the network, and annual Confucius Classrooms Network conference. The Network asks each school to implement an innovative project aimed at enhancing or expanding its Chinese language program, and to develop an ongoing partnership with a school in China,” said the Asia Society.

The Confucius Classrooms are:
AZ Catalina Foothills High School
AZ International School of Tucson
AZ Tucson High Magnet School
CA Ambassador School of Global Education
CA Redding School of the Arts
CA Semillas Community Schools
CO Global Village Academy
CT Center for Global Studies
CT Glastonbury Public Schools
CT Greenwich High School
CT Newtown High School
CT Simsbury Public Schools
CT Sunset Ridge Elementary Academy for Arts and World Languages
CT West Hartford public Schools
DC Washington International School
FL Charlotte County Public Schools
FL Safety Harbor Middle School
IA Kennedy High School
IL Consolidated School District 158
IL Lake Forest School Districts 67 & 115
KY Fayette County Public Schools
KY Louisville Collegiate School
KY St. Francis High School
MA Boston Renaissance Charter Public School
MA Brooks School
MA Jonas Clarke Middle School
MA Medfield Public Schools
MA Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School
MA Wood Hill Middle School – Andover Public Schools
ME Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School
MI Forest Hill Public Schools
MI Grosse Pointe Public School System
MI Oxford Community Schools
MI The Roeper School
NC Union County Public Schools
NH Keene High School
NJ Englewood Public Schools
NJ Lawrence High School
NJ Peddie School
NJ Piscataway High School
NJ Princeton High School
NJ The Pingry School
NJ Wardlaw-Hartridge School
NJ West Orange Public Schools
NV Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain
NV Clark County School District
NY East-West School of International Studies
NY Edward Bleeker JHS 185
NY Global Learning Collaborative
NY Henry Street School for International Studies
NY Herricks Public Schools
NY Jericho Public Schools
NY LREI (Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School)
NY Massapequa School District
NY Medgar Evers College Preparatory School
NY Nichols School
NY Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES
NY Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District
NY Ramapo Central School District
NY Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex Board of Cooperative Educational Services
OH Brooklyn City School District
OH Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools
OH Columbus School for Girls
OH Gahanna-Jefferson School District
OH Shaker Heights City School District
OH Winton Woods School District
OK Booker T. Washington High School
OK Heritage Hall
PA Academy at Palumbo High School
PA Central High School
PA Philadelphia High School for Girls
PA Sewickley Academy
PA The Hill School
TX Anderson High School
TX Houston Academy for International Studies
TX International High School at Sharpstown
TX International School of the Americas
TX Kolter Elementary
TX Mathis International School District
TX YES Prep Brays Oaks
TX Ysleta Independent School District
UT Renaissance Academy
UT Syracuse Junior High School
UT West High School
VA Collegiate School
VA George Mason High School, Falls Church City Public School
VA Tallwood High School
VT Arlington Memorial High School–Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union
WA Beacon Hill International School
WA Peninsula School District
WA Sammamish High School
WA Tyee Middle School
WI Kettle Moraine High School
WI Oconomowoc Area School District
WI School District of Janesville
WI University School of Milwaukee
WV Bridgeport High School
WV North Elementary
WY Natrona County High School

A must-read for all immersion parents

This handbook from the Asia Society may be a familiar resource to many parents of Mandarin learners. But considering it’s the start of a new school year with a fresh batch of students and parents, I wanted to draw attention to it again.

It’s a must-read primer on the best models for Mandarin immersion. It helped me understand what’s expected of our children – and, in turn, what to expect from our schools.  Four years into Mandarin immersion with my oldest son, I’m still on a steep learning curve. But this handbook is a nice place to start.

Here’s a teaser:

“Over the last four decades, immersion programs in many languages have seen slow but steady growth in U.S. schools. Most immersion programs offered European languages, with a small number in other languages. Much of what is known about immersion’s effectiveness has been gleaned from these programs. Their experiences provide useful guidance about options for program models, teaching strategies, literacy development, and time allocation for both the immersion language and English. While we know a great deal about what works in immersion and why, we are still discovering the aspects of this kind of education that can be appropriately applied to Chinese instruction.

Prior to 2000, in the U.S. there were fewer than ten public or private elementary school immersion programs in either Standard Chinese or Cantonese. They led the way for the approximately seventy new programs now operating, most of which are still in their infancy. The pioneer programs have addressed the same issues that now face their newer counterparts, exploring solutions to common questions such as the following:

  • Which type of program model is most suited to Chinese immersion: Most or all of the school day taught in Mandarin, a fifty-fifty division between Chinese and English, or some other distribution of time?
  • What are the qualifications for teaching in Chinese immersion? Where can we find highly qualified teachers? What does high-quality Chinese immersion instruction look like?
  • What curricula and instructional materials are already available for Chinese immersion?
  • How might we approach literacy development in Chinese?

The teachers and administrators from the long-standing Chinese immersion programs generously shared their expertise and resources with one another as well as with the newly emerging programs around the country. They answer numerous inquiries made by email or phone, they cheerfully host visitors, and they network with one another and collaborate on important projects.”