N.C. to Open Four International-Studies Schools

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — July 26, 2005 3 min read

Eight districts in North Carolina will share four new high schools focused on international studies, as the state expands its drive to prepare students for the global marketplace, Gov. Michael F. Easley has announced.


The schools—part of the state’s New Schools Project for improving secondary education, financed by an $11 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—will eventually enroll about 400 students each. They will be housed at existing high schools, but follow a small-schools model. The districts will share $185,000 in planning grants and are scheduled to open the new programs in the 2006-07 school year.

“We’re excited that this is an important enough issue to offer the opportunity for schools dedicated to international studies,” said Millie Ravenel, the director of the Center for International Understanding at the University of North Carolina.

The center, along with the New York City-based Asia Society, will be involved in planning and providing support for the schools. While a number of high schools in the state offer the International Baccalaureate program, a few schools throughout the state focus exclusively on international studies for all students, Ms. Ravenel said.

“These [new] schools will offer the students almost an opportunity to be immersed in another culture without having to leave home,” she said.

Building Expertise

The center was instrumental in the release of a plan this past spring for expanding global studies for students throughout the Tar Heel State. (“International Studies a Hard Sell in U.S.,” April 20, 2005.)

Drafted by a task force of 100 prominent educators, policymakers, and business leaders, the plan calls for an “internationalization” of the school curriculum in order to prepare North Carolina’s 1.3 million students “to be citizens, workers, and leaders in the global age of the 21st century.”

The new schools will serve students from a mix of urban, suburban, and rural districts, including the Alamance-Burlington, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham, Johnston, Onslow, Orange, and Wake districts. They will open with 100 freshmen each and add 100 new students each year until grades 9-12 are represented.

The schools will offer a college-preparatory curriculum, with additional foreign-language requirements. World geography, global economic issues, and international content will be integrated across subjects. Students will be expected to study and build expertise in at least one region of the world or on a particular global issue.

A community-service requirement and opportunities for students to work in businesses will also be incorporated into the curriculum.

“The growth of international business and research across North Carolina and the nation demands a workforce that is aware of and connected to other regions of the world,” Gov. Easley, a Democrat, said in announcing the new schools this month. “Students will graduate from international-studies high schools with an understanding of how to compete and succeed in a global economy.”

North Carolina boasts a number of global-studies elementary and middle schools, as well as the prominent Center for International Understanding, which sponsors training on international issues and study trips abroad for thousands of teachers. The state received an award from the Asia Society two years ago for its commitment to international education.

The New Schools Project, located in Raleigh and launched in 2003, is expected to create “100 new and redesigned high schools” in the state, according to Mr. Easley’s office.

The governor has also launched an initiative called Learn and Earn, which places high schools on college campuses and allows students to earn credits toward college while pursuing their diplomas.

Five such early-college high schools are already operating in North Carolina, and 10 more are slated to open in the fall. (“College-Based High Schools Fill Growing Need,” May 25, 2005.)

Related Tags:


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

International Opinion Why Other Countries Keep Outperforming Us in Education (and How to Catch Up)
Money from the American Rescue Plan could be our last chance to build the school system we need, writes Marc Tucker.
Marc Tucker
5 min read
A student climbs stacks of books to reach the top
Tatyana Pivovarova/iStock/Getty Images Plus
International Global Test Finds Digital Divide Reflected in Math, Science Scores
New data from the 2019 Trends in International Math and Science Study show teachers and students lack digital access and support.
3 min read
Image of data.
International Pre-COVID Learning Inequities Were Already Large Around the World
A new international benchmarking highlights gaps in training for digital learning and other supports that could deepen the challenge for low-income schools during the pandemic.
4 min read
International Part of Global Trend, 1 in 3 U.S. High Schoolers Felt Disconnected From School Before Pandemic
UNESCO's annual report on global education progress finds countries need to make more effort to include marginalized students, particularly in the United States.
4 min read