Education Ministers from Top-Performing Countries to Gather for First International Summit in the U.S.

U.S. Department of Education, OECD and partners to convene in NYC in March as prelude to WNET's Celebration of Teaching & Learning

Dec 07, 2010, 17:24 ET from WNET

NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the U.S. Department of Education, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and Education International will convene an International Summit on the Teaching Profession in New York City, the first of its kind.  

Planning for the March 16-17, 2011 Summit is being overseen by the Summit's U.S. partners, including WNET (Channels THIRTEEN & WLIW21), the Asia Society, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers and the Council of Chief State School Officers.  The Summit will serve as a prelude to WNET's sixth annual Celebration of Teaching & Learning, a K-12 professional development conference.  

"We have a great deal to learn from other nations that are out-educating us today.  To continue and deepen the conversation, we -- together with OECD and other partners -- will convene an International Summit on the Teaching Profession in New York in March to bring together Ministers of Education and national teachers unions from the highest-performing and most rapidly-improving countries," said Secretary Duncan.

Attendees will include Ministers of Education from the leading countries in education as measured by the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results.  Leaders from U.S. education associations, top teachers and international union leaders will also be invited to attend.  The Summit will foster the exchange of ideas between nations to better serve youth across the world -- much as WNET's Celebration has become known for creating an atmosphere of candid conversation among educators from all disciplines.  

"This Summit represents the first time the international education community has been invited to the U.S.," said Neal Shapiro, President and Chief Executive Officer of WNET, New York's flagship public television station.  "We are honored that Secretary Duncan and the many partners convening the Summit chose the Celebration as the stage to host this truly historic event." 

The Celebration brings together the world's best experts and more than 10,000 educators from all 50 states and beyond at the Hilton New York on March 18-19, 2011.  Educators experience four distinct learning environments through plenary sessions, featured speaker sessions, hands-on "In the Classroom" workshops and interactive exhibitor halls.

"The Celebration is where knowledge meets inspiration," noted Ron Thorpe, Vice President and Director of Education, WNET.  "Over the past five years we have been privileged to host educators from across the U.S. to deliver exceptional professional development and this year, we're proud that the Summit is elevating the Celebration to an international event, providing educators everywhere a forum unique to the education community and world."

The 2011 Celebration will feature nationally acclaimed speakers including Oliver Sacks, best-selling author and professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center; Leymah Gbowee, documentarian and executive director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa; Diane Ravitch, education historian and author; Patricia Agatston and Ron Slaby on cyberbullying and others.  Attendees will also learn from sessions on Common Core State Standards for Math and ELA. Experts and content will cover The Arts, English Language Arts, Global Awareness, Health & Wellness, Instructional Technology, Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM), Social Studies, Special Education and Whole School Issues.

To learn more, visit and connect online on Facebook ( and Twitter @The_Celebration.

About WNET

New York public media company WNET is a pioneering provider of television and web content.  The parent of THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group, WNET brings such acclaimed broadcast series and websites as Worldfocus, Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Wide Angle, Secrets of the Dead, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Visions, Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, Wild Chronicles, Miffy and Friends, and Cyberchase to national and international audiences.  Through its wide range of channels and platforms, WNET serves the entire New York City metro area with unique local productions, broadcasts and innovative educational and cultural projects.  In all that it does, WNET pursues a single, overarching goal - to create media experiences of lasting significance for New York, America and the world.  For more information, visit

THIRTEEN & WLIW21 gratefully acknowledges sponsorship support of the Celebration from Lead Sponsors: MetLife, National Education Association (NEA), Simons Foundation; Premier Sponsors: American Federation of Teachers (AFT-CIO), Cisco, NYSUT, SMART Technologies/Tequipment; Major Sponsors: The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and Executive Leadership Institute (CSA/ELI), Fordham University Graduate School of Education, Hilton New York, New Jersey Education Association (NJEA); Presenting Sponsor: Hofstra University; Event Sponsors: Barnes & Noble, The College Board, NYSSAC; and Media Sponsor: Education Week.