#Globaled16: Finding Global Solutions to Local Education Problems

28th—that’s where the United States ranks on a global list of school performance. That’s not exactly leading the pack. Heck, it’s hardly even middle of the pack.

Last May, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the biggest-ever list of global school rankings. The list compared math and science tests in schools across 76 different countries, and it showed the United States falling far behind several countries in both Asia and Europe.

Getting back on top won’t be easy—and it definitely won’t happen if we continue with the status quo.

Creating new ways of thinking and collaboration among schools is the goal of Global Leadership Week, which kicked off in earnest yesterday. As part of the event, students, educators, school leaders, nonprofits, and other organizations will participate in in-person and virtual conferences, and exchange best practices to improve K20 education, here in the United States and in every country across the globe.

Through a combination of Twitter chats, live-streamed discussions, book talks, webinars, and online meetings, an international menagerie of school leaders will share strategies and compare ideas about what’s worked in their districts, and what hasn’t.

Conference organizers hope Global Leadership Week will address fundamental questions facing school leaders and others throughout the world, including:

  • How does equity fit into the global education puzzle?
  • What does it mean to be a global-ready school?
  • How do we prepare students and teachers to be global-ready?
  • How does a school or district foster empathy and other soft skills within its community?

Looking for a few ideas to move your district forward in a global society? Here’s four ways to participate in the conversation, starting today.

  1. Watch yesterday’s opening Global Leadership Summit—three hours-worth of panel discussions with education leaders and technology entrepreneurs.
  2. Attend some or all of today’s global leadership online mini-conference from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PST. The mini-conference includes keynote speeches from big-name educators.
  3. Participate in one of several online discussions throughout the week. Each discussion is by an education expert and features school leaders and others discussing critical issues affecting education.
  4. Follow the #globaled16 hashtag or our @k12insight Twitter feed, for the latest from the conference. And don’t forget to share the lessons you’ve learned on social media.

Beyond a loftier exploration of the global issues affecting education, Global Leadership Week is a time for reflection and mission honing. How do you innovate to keep your school or district competitive in a changing world? What obstacles prevent students in your community from achieving success? Tell us in the comments.

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