Today’s world is complex and interconnected. We must make sure that our students are equipped with the knowledge and skills that they need to navigate this global reality.

Parents, students, and community members play an important role in shaping and improving education. You can join the movement to demand that your schools provide students with the 21st century education they need to prosper in today’s global economy.

If you want to make sure that your child will graduate globally competent and college ready, we offer ideas and resources to join the global education movement and promote global learning in your community.

Global Competence

The world that our youth will inherit is vastly different than the world 15, 10, or even 5 years ago. Economies are now truly global and new industries are emerging, while many of the past are being outsourced to both people and computers around the world. These changes and this global integration are now happening at an ever increasing rate. Our education system must learn from high performing systems around the world and adapt to these global transformations- and we must demand this change. We must work together to promote high-quality, global learning in our schools that will prepare the rising generation for their global future.

In order to integrate global learning into U.S. education and ensure that all students receive a world-class education, we need an urgent call for schools to produce students who know something about the world—its cultures, languages and how its economic, environmental and social systems work. The concept of global competence articulates the knowledge and skills students need in the 21st century.

Read the book Educating for Global Competence: Preparing our Youth to Engage the World to learn more about the knowledge and skills needed in the future, and see how schools have made the shift. Consider doing a book study for your education community.

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School Design

In order to ensure that your students recieve a world-class education, school community members can work together with school leadership to create a well-defined plan for what they want to achieve and how they will get there.


In order to prepare students for the global innovation age, the school community must share a common vision for the school predicated on its dual goals of developing global competence and college readiness.

Along with your school leadership and local community, you can encourage the creation of a globally-focused school vision by organizing meetings for students, educators, parents, and community members to discuss what they believe is necessary for success in college and career in the 21st century.


As a community member and/ or parent, you can support the school and its leadership and realizing the vision that you collaboratively created. You can support your school in effectively cultivating this image through workshops and meetings that mobilize the community around the vision of the global learning school.


As a community, you can support school leadership in cultivating a collaboratively designed, global school culture. Creating such a culture will require buy-in from the entire community – administrators, school leaders, educators, parents, and students. You can help to create this buy-in and enable your school – and your students – to excel.

Our International Studies Schools Network (ISSN) School Design Matrix provides a blueprint of what a global learning school looks like and how it effectively prepares students for life and work in the 21st century.


Define and uphold your community expectations of the globally-focused school. Decide that as a school community you will design and implement the policies and practices needed to ensure that all students graduate both:

Share the responsibility for these expectations and determine ways to monitor your success in meeting these expectations.

Supportive Policies

See best practices in leadership, resources, teacher prep and professional development, curriculum, and instruction. Our rubric maps what beginning, developing, advanced, and explemary practices look like, so stakeholders can assess their own state progress and have a vision for the future. The rubric was developed by state policymakers and includes real-world examples drawn from more than 25 states. These tools may be scaled to the district or community level, too.


Often, in order to make many of the changes necessary to improve your local school, your school community will need to do some fundraising.

Asia Society, in partnership with The Finance Project, created a guide titled Funding Global Learning that describes how to create financing strategies as well as how to identify and secure funding. The guide explains how to “make the case” for global competence; how to manage diverse funding strategies; the types of federal and state funding sources; and how to connect funding streams with your school’s goals. The guide also introduces other resources to turn to for help.

Few funding sources directly target global learning, and issues such as time-limited grants, the downturn in state and local budgets,and competition for limited resources creates a challenging backdrop against which out-of-school leaders seek to implement or expand programs. This guide is designed to help overcome these challenges so programs can focus on do what they do best: preparing students for the world.

To get started, download the Funding Global Learning guide. 

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