Study Tour of Senior Ministry Officials from Palestine (2013)

The Center for International Education (CIE) hosted a Study Tour for four senior level Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) officials from Palestine as part of the USAID-funded Leadership and Teacher Development (LTD) project, whose primary contractor is AMIDEAST. The four senior officials included Basri Saleh, Deputy Minister Assistant for Development and Planning, Shahnaz Far, Director General of the National Institute of Educational Training (NIET), Tharwat Zaid, Director General for Supervision and Qualification, and Samah Iriqat, Director for the Commission for Developing the Teaching Profession. The group was in Massachusetts for six days to ensure engagement and alignment across departments in the MOEHE to realize the goals of the Ministry’s Strategic Plan. The study tour was led by the LTD Chief of Party (COP) Said Assaf and the Principal Investigator, Gretchen Rossman, with Joseph Berger and Sharon Rallis who are both working on the project. 


The purpose of the tour was to learn about high quality teacher professional development systems, programs to support teachers learning new learner-centered pedagogical and assessment approaches, supervision, teacher licensing, teacher performance assessment, and opportunities to network and build possible collaborative partnerships. Among the activities of the busy week, the participants visited and met with officials from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to discuss statewide standards, policy frameworks, and use of data for assessment and evaluation.


The participants also visited the Education Collaborative in Northampton and met with senior leadership teams for some Springfield and Amherst Public schools to learn more about the functioning of the schools with particular emphasis on pre-service teacher educator programs and educator assessment. Additionally, the MoEHE officials participated in a discussion during their visits with William Gorth, founder and president of the National Evaluation Systems (NES) group of Pearson and with the Collaborative for Education Services about assessments. 


The study tour ended with a debriefing session in which the participants reflected on lessons learned during their stay and ways to implement that knowledge to improve policy and practice in Palestine. On their last day they made a panel presentation on education reform in Palestine during the North Eeast regional conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) which was hosted by CIE at UMass.



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