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USSaudiForum - Panel 1 - Mimi Jett - Building the Foundation for a Knowledge Based Economy


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The 3rd US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum was held Sep 16-18, 2013, bringing together officials, business people, educators and specialists highlighting the U.S.-Saudi trade relationship and how U.S. companies can participate in Saudi Arabia's expansion.

Saudi Arabia is undergoing an extraordinary economic boom. Massive public investment, rapid private-sector growth and new sector initiatives are driving an expansion projected to offer more than $1 trillion in trade and investment opportunities over the next decade.

This panel of distinguished experts highlighted the Saudi K-12 education reform by building the foundation for a knowledge based economy.

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USSaudiForum - Panel 1 - Mimi Jett - Building the Foundation for a Knowledge Based Economy

  1. 1. US-Saudi Business Forum Building the Foundation for a Knowledge-Based Economy Mimi Jett Chief Development Officer Avant Assessment September 17, 2013
  2. 2. • Technology makes a difference • Standards-based curriculum and assessments • Computer-adaptive testing is a powerful example • Formative assessment = most effective practice • Makes personalization possible • Easy, inexpensive devices provide rich experiences • Evidence-based portfolios show progress, growth 2 GOAL: Leaders in the 21st Century K-12 Education Reform
  3. 3. Intermediate-level items Advanced-level items Proficient-level items 10 pts 8 pts 6 pts 8 pts 6 pts 8 pts Advanced Intermediate Four-Stage Adaptive Test Design Proficient Advanced - High Intermediate - High 6 pts 6 pts 6 pts Novice 3
  4. 4. Mother-tongue Literacy is Key • Essential to the development of a knowledge-based economy • Knowledge can be accessed, understood and even applied in a second language • But it’s very difficult to create knowledge in a second language • Literacy skills begin in primary, develop in elementary • Creativity and productivity blossom when proficiency is shared broadly across the society 4
  5. 5. Knowledge-Economy Requirements Power lies with those who produce new ideas… > Creativity > Innovation > Problem solving > Critical thinking Are always more powerful in the first language! 5
  6. 6. 6 Plate out of “The Wonders of Creation and Their Singularities” by Al-Qazwini Late 13th century
  7. 7. Cultural & Language Preservation • First of a Kind Arabic Proficiency Tests released in 2013 • Policy focus to improve Arabic proficiency, preserve language and culture • New Arabic standards from World Language Initiative • Literature based approach to language learning • Critical movement toward communicative proficiency • Bi-lingual language development in Arabic & English 7
  8. 8. Innovative Business Models • Qatar Academy defined the need for Arabic Proficiency Tests for mother-tongue Arabic students • Partnership with Qatar Foundation funded test development • Local partners bring cultural richness, quality • Grassroots movement created by word of mouth • Revenue split funds ongoing research • Co-branding provides recognition of thought leadership, innovation, focus on education 8
  9. 9. 9 An Arabic Language Assessment Suite • The Arabic Placement Test • Arabic Proficiency Tests for K-12 • The Arabic Proficiency Test for Adult Workforce Readiness • The Test of Academic Arabic Proficiency • Arabic Language Arts Tests for K-12 • The STAMP Arabic Foreign Language Test for K-12 • The iCAN Formative Assessment Tool in Arabic A complete and integrated solution set addressing the need for placement tests, diagnostics, formative assessment, and summative assessment.
  10. 10. Remember: Literacy is Key • Reading & Writing are basic for the development of a knowledge-based economy. • Creativity and Critical Thinking happen in L1. • Access to knowledge in L2 is extremely limited. • Knowledge-based economies depend on language proficiency. • Creativity and productivity blossom when proficiency is shared broadly across the society. 10
  11. 11. 11 Thank you!
  12. 12. Q&A 12