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New map illustrates importance of global competence for U.S. students

Asia Society, Longview Foundation, SAS launch free online resource

Washington, DC  (Nov. 18, 2013)  – Nearly 1 million data points have been collected to prove what parents, businesspeople, and policymakers already know: American students must be globally competent to succeed in the interconnected 21st century. "Mapping the Nation: Linking Local to Global," a new online resource from Asia Society, the Longview Foundation for Education in World Affairs and International Understanding, and analytics leader SAS, makes a compelling case for a globally competent workforce and citizenry.

The free online resource was introduced at an event today by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the U.S. Department of Education.

Mapping the Nation presents data at state and county levels to show international connections for every county in the U.S. – from jobs tied to global trade and immigrants with rich linguistic resources, to billions of dollars contributed to our economy by international students studying here. It also reveals a significant education gap: Not enough U.S. students at any level, K-16, are gaining the global knowledge and skills needed for success in this new environment.

"Our nation's students will have an opportunity to succeed if they get the world-class education that they deserve, one that prepares them for college and career in our interconnected, knowledge-based economy," said Duncan. "The stakes of our success in promoting high standards and educational excellence have never been higher."

Invaluable to policymakers and education leaders, the mapping data demonstrates the pervasiveness of international connections and investments in virtually every U.S. county. Educators at primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels can use this rich tool for students to better understand these linkages, and how global knowledge and skills can enhance their employability.

"We must prepare our kids to compete in a global society by encouraging critical and creative thinking about that society," said Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg. "Our education system must foster communication in multiple languages, understanding of different cultures, and a grasp of the local impact of global trends, and the global impact of local actions."

The United States is experiencing rapid demographic changes. Ninety-five percent of consumers live outside the U.S. SAS, Asia Society, and Longview Foundation worked with national experts and nonprofits to determine key economic, demographic, and K-16 education indicators to further illustrate the changing U.S. population and workforce.

"We are using the power of data to improve American education and competitiveness," said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. "With this information, education leaders and policymakers can make better decisions that affect the quality of education and economic vitality of their states. In addition, it helps students understand that their opportunities do not stop at the county, state, or national borders."

Last year, SAS worked with The University of North Carolina's Center for International Understanding to launch a global heat map for North Carolina. State policymakers such as N.C. Sen. Peter Brunstetter, Co-Chair of the International Business and Trade Caucus in the North Carolina General Assembly, have found the map a valuable tool in showing the economic importance of global connections.

"The economic vitality of our state absolutely depends on our relationships with other countries and our ability to work with people all over the world," said Brunstetter. "As policy leaders, we need to understand foreign economic engines and the opportunities increased demand for U.S. products offer companies in urban and rural settings. Armed with this perspective, we can encourage responsible expansion of exports and foreign direct investment."

"Our global readiness map demonstrates that every county in America has the potential to benefit from the globally connected economy," said Asia Society President Josette Sheeran. "However, it is evident America does not have enough students with the global knowledge and skills needed to capitalize on this potential. Asia Society is working to bridge this urgent need."

"We have been amazed at both the big and small stories being told within this data," concluded Jennifer Manise, Executive Director of The Longview Foundation for Education in World Affairs and International Understanding. "This resource is for use in every community to create local-global connections and to plan for the future of more globally competent students across the nation."

To take advantage of the free resource, visit

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Mapping the Nation: Making the Case for Global Competence 
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