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International Education Week 2005 Announced

Sixth annual commemoration to focus on student achievement

Posted: November 9, 2005 (Updated: November 18, 2005) > International Education Week 2005 Website  
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Declaring 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 follows:

(begin text)

Statement on International Education Week 2005
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
Washington, DC

Secretary of Education Margaret SpellingsI 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, and traditions.

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 life.

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.

(end text)


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 U.S. counterparts;

  •  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/.


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