PolkCounty Schools joins delegation in China

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Polk County Schools is one of only about seven North Carolina school districts invited to join a U.S. delegation to China this month to begin building a cooperative relationship on education.

The China Bridge Delegation, which includes 400 educators from across the U.S., leaves today and will remain in China through December 10, meeting with government and school officials and visiting schools.

Superintendent Bill Miller and Director of Accountability and Technology Dave Scherping are making the trip for Polk County Schools. Miller says North Carolina and other states have worked for years to establish relationships in China for developing business opportunities. They are now looking to do the same to share information and perhaps resources for educational initiatives.

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The North Carolina group has been organized by the Center for International Understanding, a public service program of The University of North Carolina.

Through the delegation traveling this month, Miller says Polk County likely will establish a relationship with a specific school district in China to exchange information about educational practices, culture and language.

As part of the exchange, Polk County Schools also may obtain a teacher from China who would teach Chinese language and culture in Polk schools. The Chinese government may pay for the teacher to be here, adds Miller.

The program will evolve over time and involve many other opportunities for exchange, says Miller. I do think that its going to be really important to our students and teachers and community, in general, to understand what we are dealing with as far as globabilization.

The superintendent says he plans to talk with the Polk school board about his trip at this months board meeting. He may recommend forming a committee that would consider ways to expose students to more information about the world. Perhaps, the school district will look at ways to expand AFS and language opportunities, he says.

Its a changing world out there and we have to ask, What are we going to do to help kids become exposed to that fact?’ says Miller. I have to think that having a little bit better global perspective can only help them.