U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will join leaders from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Education International (EI), together with the National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Asia Society and public broadcaster WNET, to host an International Summit on the Teaching Profession in New York City, March 16-17, 2011.
The summit will convene education ministers, national union leaders, education organization leaders and accomplished teachers from countries with high performing and rapidly improving educational systems to identify best practices worldwide that effectively strengthen the teaching profession in ways designed to enhance student achievement.
"When it comes to teaching, talent matters tremendously," said Secretary Duncan. "But great teachers are not just born that way -- it takes a high-quality system for recruiting, training, retaining, and supporting teachers over the course of their careers to develop an effective teaching force. This summit is a tremendous opportunity to learn from one another the best methods worldwide to address our common challenges: supporting and strengthening teachers and boosting the student skills necessary for success in today's knowledge economy."
"The prosperity of our nations depends on whether we succeed to attract the brightest minds into the teaching profession and the most talented teachers into the most challenging classrooms," said OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría. "Working directly with leaders and teachers from across the globe is key to investing in our most precious asset -- our youth."
Participants will also engage in a discussion on the vital role teachers play in advancing progressive, sustainable education reform. "The summit represents a unique opportunity for teachers and their unions globally to consider the future of their profession as equal partners with governments," said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. "Qualified teachers are vital to the health and success of all our societies. Their input and status are vital to advancing the fight to achieve high quality education for all."
The March summit is a first step in what will be an ongoing dialogue among these countries about the best way to achieve and sustain best practices to improve both teaching and learning. The department plans to work with participating leaders to compile and share effective practices publicly in the weeks following the summit.