NJDOE News
For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Jon Zlock
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

    609-292-1126

For Release: October 21, 2004


DOE To Host First International Education Summit
More Than 250 New Jersey Educators to Attend

If New Jersey students are to compete and succeed in the global workforce, they must gain a better understanding of the rest of the world.

That is why the Department of Education is co-hosting the state’s first International Education Summit on Wednesday, October 27. The DOE will welcome teams of teachers, administrators and curriculum coordinators from school districts throughout the state to McDonnell Hall at Princeton University for a day-long discussion on how to prepare students for the challenges of the increasingly global workforce.

Reporters are encouraged to attend the event, which begins at 9:00 a.m.

"New Jersey has one of the most diverse student populations in the nation," said Commissioner of Education William L. Librera. "Our students work together, learn together and recognize one another’s differences and strengths. But giving them all a more comprehensive understanding of world languages and cultures will result in a better future for the students themselves, for this great state, and for our nation."

"New Jersey’s location gives companies unique access to a global market," said Janis Jensen, the DOE’s world languages coordinator. "To be globally competitive, we need to understand customers, competitors and resources around the world. This summit will spark us all to build networks, mobilize ideas and raise awareness of the importance of this issue. We cannot wait to get started."

Expected highlights of the summit include:

  • A roundtable discussion about international education from the global business perspective led by Vivien Stewart, Executive Director of the National Coalition on Asia and International Studies in Schools; Bernhard Kohlmeier, Director of Localization Futures at Microsoft Corporation; and Rafiq Bengali, CEO of the National Bank of Pakistan for the Americas and Europe (9:45 a.m.);

  • A town meeting for all participants facilitated by NJN’s "Caucus: New Jersey" host Steve Adubato (scheduled for 2:45 p.m.).

Other featured speakers include U.S. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), Commissioner Librera, State Board of Education President Dr. Arnold Hyndman and Kathleen Deitz, who chairs the State Board’s International Education Steering Committee.

A complete agenda is attached, as is a list of the expected attendees and the school districts they represent.

The summit is co-sponsored by DOE and Princeton University’s Offices of International and Regional Studies and Teacher Preparation. It is partially funded by a grant from the Longview Foundation, a Maryland-based company that supports programs and projects that bring international content to kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms.

Reporters interested in covering the event are asked to contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION IN NEW JERSEY:

In November, 2003, Commissioner Librera announced that a team of state representatives, known as the New Jersey State Leadership Team, would participate in the States Institute on International Education in the Schools held that same month. The team will also be participating in this year’s November States Institute in Washington organized by the Asia Society and co-sponsored by the National Governor’s Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Education Commission of the States and the National Coalition of Asia and International Studies in the Schools.

The State Board, in establishing the International Education Steering Committee, remains supportive of International Education initiatives.

Governor James E. McGreevey, speaking in support of International Education Week last year, also called for students to continue to read and learn about cultures other than their own.

"I fully support the State Board of Education and Commissioner Librera in their efforts to ensure that our students learn from a global perspective," Governor McGreevey said. "No quality education system can be complete without learning about the people, languages and cultures of our international community. New Jersey is the right state in the right location with the right blend of diversity for international learning to flourish."