State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi on Sept. 30, 2013, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Oklahoma and the Kingdom of Spain. She and Xavier Gisbert da Cruz, Counselor of Education for the Embassy of Spain, signed the agreement during a ceremony in the Blue Room of the State Capitol.
The MOU will strengthen educational ties between the citizens of the Kingdom of Spain and the State of Oklahoma. The agreement will allow for Oklahoma and Spanish teachers to aid in designing the educational model of the new millennium, of which interculturalism is an essential element.
“Breaking down cultural barriers for our children in the 21st Century is no longer an option for educators.” Barresi said. “As our society becomes more and more global, we must build partnerships between countries and provide every opportunity possible for all of our children to learn from one another. I thank the Ministry of Spain for working with us and look forward to this productive and exciting partnership.”
This agreement will promote relationships between the citizens of Spain and Oklahoma, foster knowledge and appreciation of the culture shared by the two communities, provide students who enroll in these programs with a multilingual and multicultural education that trains them for future success, and provide professional growth opportunities to teachers of Spain and Oklahoma. The partnership was formed because Oklahoma and Spain have the same desire to strengthen ties between our citizens and to engage in cooperative efforts to design educational models for the new millennium, and both recognize the importance of the English and Spanish languages in the productive exchange of ideas for preparing children to be College, Career and Citizen Ready upon graduation.
The main focus of this agreement is for the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Ministry of Spain to collaborate in the development of a network of schools in Oklahoma to be known as International Spanish Academies. This effort will enable the implementation of high quality multilingual education. A visiting teachers program and professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators also will be part of the program.
Cutline: State Superintendent Janet Barresi and Xavier Gisbert da Cruz, Counselor of Education for the Embassy of Spain, sign the Memorandum of Understanding in the Blue Room of the State Capitol. Standing are José Llaneza, Education Advisor for Texas and Oklahoma for the Embassy of Spain, and Dr. Amalia Miranda, Honorary Consul of Spain.