Friday, February 22, 2013

Chinese Educators Visit Spring Branch

On Jan. 28, a delegation of Chinese teachers and education leaders from an elite school district in Beijing learned about Spring Branch ISD in a specially arranged visit. Superintendent of Schools Duncan F. Klussmann, Ed.D., spoke with the group of about 20 educators about the difference in educational organization and practice at the district, state and national level.

Superintendent Klussmann has visited Chinese schools and met with educators there recently. He visited several school systems in major cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, as well as systems in smaller cities. “I really enjoyed meeting with school leaders,” he said of his trip to China. “We had a really enjoyable visit, and I learned so much during my time there.”

The Chinese delegation visit to Houston and Spring Branch was sponsored by the local Mayor’s International Trade & Development Office. The visiting teachers and educators were part of the Educational Committee of Haidian District’s fact-finding mission to learn about how well-rated, or exemplary, school systems are organized in the United States.

According to the Mayor’s Office, the Haidian District is an elite school district, one where many of China’s future leaders are educated. The visiting group included educators and administration officials with Beijing Haidian Teachers Training College, 16 high schools and middle schools. In China, several of these secondary schools are attached to universities and colleges.

“The delegation’s interests center on high-performing school districts, whose rigorous academic standards match their own most closely, and where they feel they would profit most from visits. They requested a visit with Spring Branch ISD to learn more about the standards that you use in selecting and training educators, and in reviewing the performance of these educators,” reported Matthew Shailer, a special assistant in the Houston Mayor’s Office.

In a sign of how small the world can be, Superintendent Klussmann discovered that the touring group that he traveled with to China may have visited or stopped over at one of the delegation’s campuses. The delegation met with the district superintendent in the Board Room at the Wayne F. Schaper, Sr. Leadership Center.



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