The U.S. Department of Education has announced plans for the first International Summit on the Teaching Profession, to be held in March in New York.
Organizers say the aim of the meeting is to share strategies with the international education community. To that end, in addition to U.S. teachers and administrators, the meeting's organizers have invited top educators, education ministers and leaders of education organizations from a number of countries.
The international scope of the meeting is a first for U.S. education leaders. "This summit is a tremendous opportunity to learn from one another the best methods worldwide to address our common challenges: supporting and strengthening teachers and boosting the student skills necessary for success in today's knowledge economy," the U.S. secretary of education, Arne Duncan, said in a statement. The meeting will be hosted jointly by the department, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Education International, in partnership with the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Asia Society and WNET, a New York public television station.
Indian official calls for letting universities make money
Education providers must be allowed to earn a profit to expand and improve India's higher education system because "it is just not financially feasible for the government to run all universities," said a top economic adviser to the Indian government.
Speaking this month at the three-day TieCon conference in New Delhi, Kaushik Basu, chief economic adviser to the Indian Finance Ministry, said that "the zest for making profits" and a desire to provide a top-quality education "can go hand in hand."
Mr. Basu acknowledged that the private sector probably would pick up the more commercial ends of education, like engineering, management studies and medicine. But, he said, that would allow the government to invest more heavily in less popular but equally necessary areas, like the humanities, literature and math.
India has pledged to increase the proportion of students enrolled at colleges and universities from 12.4 percent to 30 percent by 2020. But while education officials admit that the government cannot go it alone, all institutions that give degrees are banned from making a profit.
Private providers, including foreign universities that hope to play a bigger role in India if a draft law before lawmakers is approved, say they cannot deliver an excellent education if the ban stays in place.
Mr. Basu said that while India invested well in higher education in the past-and benefited greatly by, for example, developing ties with Silicon Valley-the system had not developed quickly enough, leading India to fall behind countries like China and Malaysia.