A delegation of US education experts are among an elite list set to address a global education summit in Bahrain this October, it was announced today.
Figures from Columbia University, Boston College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education will join those from the European Commission, 10 Downing Street and Microsoft at the Education Project 2010. The second occasion of the annual event - initiated by His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain and Chairman of the Kingdom's Economic Development Board (EDB) - runs from 8-10 October.
Other US speakers include Kaya Henderson, Deputy Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools; Edward Fiske, former Education Editor of the New York Times; and Cindy Johanson, Executive Director of the George Lucas Educational Foundation.
Johanson, who has more than 20 years experience leading the design and expansion of digital services with a focus on education and engagement, said: "One of the topics for debate at the Education project 2010 in Bahrain will be the use of technology and entertainment to enhance learning. In light of extraordinary advancements in how we interact with each other, our system of education has been frustratingly slow to adapt. The George Lucas Educational Foundation was created to address this issue. By shining the spotlight on where such innovations are taking place, we hope others will consider how their work can promote change in their own schools."
Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the EDB which is organising the event, added: "Education is the single most important factor in bringing stability, productivity and prosperity to all societies. Our goal in Bahrain in establishing the Education Project was to bring together an international community of educators. To have such experts from the US on board - to offer their expertise in identifying practical solutions to address the gap in the global education system - will help to ensure a platform from which to further inspire positive change."
Despite increased government spending, education outcomes worldwide have declined over time. The Education project was established to share best practice and create a practical approach that educators can follow to make a difference. Hundreds of professionals from 36 countries joined together at the Education project 2009.
Tony Wagner, Co-Director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education returns to the event having last year commented: "Even our 'best' schools are failing to prepare students for 21st-century careers and citizenship. It's time to hold ourselves and all of our students to a new and higher standard of rigour, defined according to 21st-century criteria. It's time for the teaching profession to advocate for accountability systems that will enable us to teach and test the skills that matter most. Our students' futures are at stake."
The event is free to attend for educational professionals from all sectors as well as from public and private sector institutions with an interest in developing new models and standards in education. Entry is by invitation only; for more information and to register online visit: http://www.educationprojectbahrain.org 
Notes to editors
Other speakers confirmed for the Education project 2010 include:
- Charles Leadbeater, advisor to the government of Shanghai,European Commission and 10 Downing St, UK- Cindy Johanson, executive director, George Lucas EducationalFoundation, USA- Edward B Fiske, former education editor, New York Times, USA- HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of HigherEducation and Scientific Research, United Arab Emirates- Helen Ladd, Professor of Public Policy, Duke Sanford School ofPublic Policy, USA- Kaya Henderson, Deputy Chancellor, District of Columbia PublicSchools, USA - David Hogan, Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice, National Institute of Education, Singapore- Mike Feinberg, Co-Founder, KIPP- Mona Mourshed, Partner Middle East, McKinsey & Company, UnitedArab Emirates- Patrick Griffin, Executive Director, Assessment and Teaching of21st Century Skills, AT21C & University of Melbourne, Australia- Ralph Tabberer, Chief School Officer, GEMS, United Arab Emirates- Steven Joel Trachtenberg, former President of George WashingtonUniversity and author of Big Man on Campus, USA- Tom Payzant, Professor of Practice, Harvard Graduate School ofEducation, USA- Tony Wagner, Co-director of the Change Leadership Group, HarvardGraduate School of Education