SOURCE: The Goldman Sachs Foundation

May 30, 2007 09:30 ET

Developing Global Leaders: Bringing Our Schools Out of the 20th Century

Winners of The Goldman Sachs Foundation Prizes for Excellence in International Education Announced

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 30, 2007) - A new model of education is growing in communities around the United States, exemplified by the outstanding work of four prize winners recognized by The Goldman Sachs Foundation and Asia Society. Students in Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, and Massachusetts are learning Asian languages, mastering the intricacies of international economics, learning to solve global problems, and collaborating with peers in China, France, Japan, Chile, and South Africa. Driven in part by international competition, concerns about international relations, and increased parent demands for higher level skills, competencies in cultural awareness, world history, economics, and languages are now becoming an important new basic for every American student.

In the past year, federal and state policymakers have introduced numerous legislative proposals to address U.S. competitiveness. The prize winners announced today serve as models for incorporating skills demanded by the 21st century into U.S. classrooms.

The winners of the 2006 Goldman Sachs Foundation Prizes for Excellence in International Education, who will each receive $25,000, are:

--  Elementary/Middle School: Washington International School, Washington,
    DC.  Founded over forty years ago with 17 students in a Washington, DC
    basement and now serving more than 800 students from many nationalities,
    Washington International School aims to prepare students to live and work
    anywhere on the planet.  By starting a second language in the elementary
    grades and infusing international content in all subject areas, the K-8
    school (part of a larger pre-K-12 complex) aims to produce students who are
    functionally multi-lingual and informed by a world perspective. A pioneer
    in international education, Washington International now helps public,
    parochial, and independent schools across the DC area to increase the
    international focus of their curriculum and promote student involvement in
    solving global challenges through its Center for International Education.
    
--  High School: Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, Chicago,
    Ill., an inner-city selective enrollment school that is one of the most
    ethnically diverse schools in Chicago, has shown how integrating global
    issues enhances academic excellence. Founded in 2000, it is now one of the
    top schools in Illinois and serves as a model for others. The school motto,
    "We Nurture Leaders", extends to building cultural competencies in students
    for future global leadership roles. Students take four years of a world
    language and experience homestay exchanges with sister schools in China,
    France, North Africa, Japan, Switzerland, Chile, Italy, or South Africa.
    Advanced technology, including the use of video-conferencing, connects
    Payton classrooms to students and experts around the world.  An array of
    international visitors, students, and seminars, further develops the
    international spirit of the school.  The school is also the flagship of
    Chicago's Chinese language program, the largest program in the country and
    a mayoral initiative intended to advance Chicago's role as a great global
    city.
    
--  State: Massachusetts. 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 Education Department. 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. The Prize
    marks a milestone in Massachusetts' efforts to prepare all students for the
    global economy.
    
--  Media and Technology: Thirteen/WNET. Thirteen/WNET's Window into
    Global History project engages high school teachers and students in issues
    of global significance. The project provides free downloadable video clips
    drawn from the documentary series, "WIDE ANGLE," the only program on
    American television exclusively dedicated to covering current international
    affairs. "WIDE ANGLE" has produced programs in 50 countries, making the
    forces that are shaping the world today accessible and compelling to a
    general audience. Accompanying lesson plans and workshops for teachers link
    the video material to state and national world history standards. The
    project is a model for how the unique power of television can be used to
    increase students' international interest and knowledge and is part of
    Thirteen/WNET's leadership role in the PBS system in promoting global
    awareness.
    
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. Since its inception in 2003, the competition has drawn over 600 applications from across the country. Schools and organizations in the applicant pool are striving to make international knowledge and skills a key part of a 21st century education and together reach millions of students and families.

Past winners have received widespread recognition and are playing important roles in stimulating innovation. For example, the prizes awarded for excellence in media and technology have helped propel Sesame Workshop to greatly expand its "Muppet-diplomacy" global awareness programming and helped iEARN to greatly expand the number of students collaborating online with their international peers. The John Stanford International School in Seattle, winner of the 2003 elementary/middle school category, has become the model for a network of ten new international schools to be launched in Seattle. The International School of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas and the Metropolitan Learning Center in Hartford, Connecticut have become models for a new national network of small urban international studies secondary schools aimed at preparing low-income and minority students for college and work in a global age. And the Chinese American International School in San Francisco is playing an important role in informing the growth of Chinese language programs across the country.

"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.

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. It achieves this mission through a combination of strategic partnerships, grants, loans, private sector investments, and the deployment of professional talent from Goldman Sachs. Funded in 1999, the Foundation has awarded grants of $94 million since its inception, providing opportunities for young people in more than 20 countries. Visit the Foundation at www.gs.com/foundation.

About Asia Society

Asia Society is the leading global organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. We seek to enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts, and culture. Founded in 1956, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C. www.asiasociety.org, www.askasia.org, www.internationaled.org

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