Chinese Delegation Discusses Education Reform with DCPS
December 17, 2010
A delegation of 75 government and university leaders from Yunnan Province, China, visited the District in late October to kick off their 11-day tour of the United States. The delegation’s goal was to learn about national and local education reform efforts in the U.S., and to discuss some of the educational challenges that China faces with U.S. leaders.
While in D.C., the delegation met with Dr. Richard Nyankori, Deputy Chancellor for Special Education for the District of Columbia Public Schools, who discussed DCPS special education priorities, as well as the progress that DCPS has made in its special education efforts.
"In China and elsewhere, countries are continuing to strengthen their commitment to students with disabilities,” said Dr. Nyankori. “There is a long way to go both here and abroad, but the progress is measurable."
The delegation was accompanied by the China Education Initiative (CEI), a nonprofit organization that trains and places full-time teachers in China’s most under-resourced public schools for two years of service.
CEI works in partnership with Teach For All, a global partner of Teach For America. Given this partnership, the delegation also wanted to learn about the impact of Teach For America in the U.S. This year, DCPS has 174 Teach For America corps members teaching at DCPS schools.
Dr. Nyankori, who is a Teach For America alumnus, shared his experience with the delegation. He also discussed the importance of teacher quality, school standards and the achievement of equity for low-income students.
"Like the interim chancellor's vision of teacher quality, the delegation shares with us a strong desire to see the most talented college graduates become teachers and leaders in education," said Dr. Nyankori.
CEI was founded in 2008 to bridge the gap between low-income schools and the recruitment, training and retention of high quality teachers. Currently, CEI places 60 teachers in 20 schools in the Yunnan Province. By 2011, CEI will expand its teaching cohort to 200 teachers in more than 50 schools.
Ed Vainker, managing director of teacher support for Teach For All, said the delegation was impressed with the progress that DCPS has made in education reform and was interested in learning how the progress was made.
“The delegation was delighted at the opportunity to gain an insight into how the city is working to improve the education for their students, and left with a range of ideas focused around the importance of having a great teacher in every classroom,” said Mr. Vainker.
After their stop in D.C., the delegation continued its tour to Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and California.
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