Oklahoma Department of Education Renews Exchange

Partnership with Académie d’Amiens in France

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 9, 2011) — State Superintendent Janet Barresi will interact with French education officials via a live video feed tomorrow to mark the renewal of a cultural exchange projectwith the Académie d’Amiens, a regional education agency located in northern France.

On Friday, June 10 at 9 a.m. in the State Board of Education boardroom, Superintendent Barresi willhold a video conference with Amiens officials. Both parties will sign a new memorandum of understanding to renew the partnership.

Superintendent Barresi and her counterpart, the Rector of the Académie, will also exchange remarksabout the partnership. Académies are the French equivalents of state departments of education in theUnited States. The Académie d’Amiens includes three smaller divisions in the region of Picardy.

“I’m pleased to continue this important partnership,” said Barresi. “In the new knowledge economy, ourstudents must be prepared to engage with the rest of the world and to compete on the global stage. Ourpartnership with Amiens is a key part of our efforts to rethink how we deliver education.”

The partnership with the Académie d’Amiens, now in its fourth year, builds and expands ties betweenOklahoma and French educators and students. The Amiens partnership includes student exchanges,group projects between schools, video conferences and online wiki-based collaboration.

“In the global marketplace, it’s so important for students to engage with and understand differentperspectives throughout the world. Educators can talk to students about it, but it has more impact whenthey experience it directly,” said Desa Dawson, director of world languages for the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

This spring, Dawson was honored by OU’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education in the 2011 Celebration of Education awards. Dawson has also been honored in France as a Chevalier (a Knight) ofthe Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms) an Order of Chivalry in that nation foracademics and cultural and educational figures.

More information about pairing with a school in Amiens is now available on the State Department ofEducation’s Website (www.sde.state.ok.us) under World Languages at http://sde.ok.gov/Curriculum/CurriculumDiv/Languages/default.html

Those interested in learning more can contact Desa Dawson at Desa_Dawson@sde.state.ok.us

or by

phone at 405-521-3035.

Damon Gardenhire
Communications Director
State Department of Education
(405) 310-9323


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