it is "very important to teach students about the world
beyond their own countries," Secretary of Education
Margaret Spellings announced the sixth annual International
Education Week (IEW), November 14–18.
Sponsored jointly by the U.S. Department
of State and U.S. Department of Education, the 2005 IEW
features the theme "International Education: Improving
Student Achievement Around the World."
Noting that we live in a borderless and
interconnected world, Spellings promised to celebrate international
education and exchange.
Spellings praised the No Child Left Behind
Act and the Teacher-to-Teacher and Reading First initiatives
in the United States. President Bush, she said, has called
reading the "new civil right."
For additional information of those laws
and other U.S. initiatives, see Education.
A transcript of Spellings’ statement
Statement on International Education Week
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
am pleased to invite you to participate in International
Education Week, November 14-18, 2005, jointly sponsored
by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department
of Education. This year's theme, International Education:
Improving Student Achievement Around the World, marks the
sixth annual commemoration of International Education Week.
We are constantly reminded that we live
in a borderless world in an age where information and news
are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
The world is indeed interconnected, and what happens in
any one country can be instantly transmitted worldwide.
For Americans, the international friendships
we enjoy with citizens and governments around the world
were never more evident than when Hurricane Katrina struck
earlier this year. As hundreds of thousands of American
school-aged children and their families were displaced by
this natural disaster, the thoughts and prayers of many
in our global community were with us. And when President
Bush called on Americans to support the victims of this
heart-wrenching tragedy, the international community also
answered the call.
It is, therefore, very important to teach
students about the world beyond their own countries. What
are the similarities we share and differences with our friends
around the world? We must understand what motivates those
whose cultures and traditions are not our own. To achieve
these goals, we must teach our children international education
skills, which include the learning of other languages, cultures,
Through the No Child Left Behind Act, we
are committed to having every child in the United States
learn and succeed in our global economy. Reading First and
the Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative also help to ensure that
we are improving student achievement in the United States.
In today's world, reading is more than just a pastime; it's
a survival skill. President Bush describes reading as the
new civil right. It should be the right of children everywhere.
A child who can read is a child who can learn. And any child
who can learn is a child who can succeed in school and in
What better way to ensure that children
will succeed in school than to have excellent teachers.
It is no secret that teaching is one of the hardest jobs.
So when the top teachers in the country share how they get
results for their students, as they are able to do through
the Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative, it helps to make the
job just a little easier. Education reform takes place in
real classrooms with real teachers. Working together, we
can provide our students with a world-class education.
International Education Week 2005 is a time
to celebrate international education and exchange. It is
also a time to reflect about America's place in the world
and to assess whether we are preparing our students for
success in a global environment. I hope students and teachers
alike will have the opportunity to participate in an internationally
enriching experience during November 14-18, 2005.
The U.S. Department of State and
the U.S. Department of Education recognize November 14-18,
2005 as International Education Week. Since its inception
in 2000, International Education Week (IEW) has grown in
size and scope to become a global event, with students,
educators, and community leaders participating in a wide
range of activities to celebrate the benefits of internationalism
in our classrooms and educational systems.
Throughout International Education Week,
the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of
Education will highlight various aspects of internationalism
in the U.S. education system, as well as U.S.-sponsored
programs for international education and cultural exchange.
Monday, November 14, will be the official
release of the Open Doors 2005
report, which is the annual survey of how many American
students are studying abroad and how many foreign students
are studying in the United States. On this day, we also
will highlight the International Visitor Leadership Program,
the premier U.S. Government exchange program for foreign
professionals to travel to the United States and meet with
Tuesday, November 15, we will highlight exchange
program alumni of both U.S. Government-sponsored programs
and private programs;
Wednesday, November 16, we will highlight the
Fulbright Program, the U.S.
Government’s flagship international exchange program;
Thursday, November 17, we will highlight English
teaching and learning programs worldwide and the importance
of foreign-language acquisition;
Friday, November 18, we will highlight youth
and undergraduate exchanges, including longstanding
high school exchange programs such as the Future Leaders
Exchange (FLEX) program, as well as the newer Youth Exchange
and Study (YES) and Partnerships for Learning Undergraduate
Studies (PLUS) programs.
For more information on International
Education Week events and activities worldwide and how you
can become involved, visit http://iew.state.gov/.