Tom Watkins, Business Partner of WAY American School in China, was recently interviewed by website EdNews, when he gave his take on the state education today.
Tom was Michigan’s State Superintendent of Schools (2001-05) and State Mental Health Director (1983-90) and has been a leader in supporting public education and pushing the envelope on sensible school reforms that lift up our schools, teachers and most importantly our students.
During the interview, he also talked about WAY American School and how its presence in China gives new and exciting opportunities to Chinese students who want an American high school diploma and dream about studying and working abroad.
EdNews: This past year you virtually lived in China building educational bridges between our two counties and established American High Schools in China. Tell us about this effort.
Tom Watkins: Yes, as a young man, even before “Nixon Went to China”, I envisioned myself living in China and I had the opportunity to do so after 30 years of extensive travel throughout the country. I have worked for decades helping Michigan and other states from K-12, community colleges and universities make connections with educational institutions in China. Last year the co-founders of Centric Learning and WAY American School asked me to help them penetrate the Chinese market. We were able in short order to sign a contract to partner with the largest and oldest private school in China to offer an innovative, project-based learning environment that allows Chinese students to study the “American Way,” with the potential to earn a US high school diploma.
WAY was founded in 2009 by Beth Baker and Glen Taylor, two Wayne County educators, to provide a personalized learning experience for all students. WAY is a personalized learning experience for all students, offering an innovative approach to education utilizing state of the art technology and project-based learning in alignment with state and national standards. Their mission is to change lives by creating engaging and encouraging educational opportunities for all young people and their vision is to make every young person a hero.