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“Inspiring Excellence in American Education”

On October 24th and 25th hundreds of education professionals and scholars from the Middle East, North Africa and America, will gather in Dubai for a symposium on implementing Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in regional American curriculum schools. The goal of this annual conference is to help teachers raise their level of instruction by aligning their lessons to the CCSS in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The conference also seeks to empower teachers to increase the academic success of their students, showcase exceptional CCSS aligned classroom resources, and connect CCSS educators across the Middle East and North Africa. Last year’s conference, the first of its kind, attracted over 300 attendees from 7 countries and hosted 23 speakers. This year’s conference will exceed those numbers.

Conference activities will include Interactive presentations, by expert educators from leading education organizations, on implementing the CCSS and breakout sessions to facilitate action planning for schools.  Barbara Golub, co-author of “Units of Study in Opinion, Informational, and Narrative Writing,” will deliver a keynote speech regarding the CCSS in international schools with large English language learner populations. Dr. Cory Bennett, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education within the Department at Idaho State University and Director of the Idaho Regional Mathematics Center, will present a keynote address on implementing CCSS in Math at American Curriculum schools in the region.

These speakers will help give some insight to the American curriculum on a global aspect, while still focusing on Common Core. They will also give informative and interactive workshops to support math and English teachers and administrators.

“The shift to the teaching and learning of math based around the Common Core State Standards means re-learning how to think and behave like a mathematician; re-learning what it means to understand and do math. Often this means learning how to present explorations in math in a way unlike anything previously experienced as students of mathematics. As such, attending the MENA Common Core Conference is critical for educators to further develop their ability to effectively create rich math learning environments,” remarks Dr. Cory Bennett.

The MENA Common Core Conference will provide over 20 workshops that educators may participate in. These sessions will focus on English Language Arts and Mathematics as well as School Culture, Community, and Teacher Support, Next Generation Science Standards and Leadership. In addition, schools will attend an action planning session, facilitated by an expert educator, to plan how to go forward and implement the information they learned at the conference in their schools.

Attendees of the conference will have access to the top publishers of education materials. Scholastic, one of the conference’s partners, said, “Scholastic is committed to partnering with educators to support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. We’ve worked directly with CCSS authors to develop programs like the ground-breaking Scholastic Literacy Pro, an adaptive reading assessment program that provides a clear, immediate view of what students can do now and are positioned to learn next. Educators can use this information to monitor progress and set rigorous goals, as recommended by the CCSS, and forecast performance.”

A participant from last year’s conference, C. Monique Childress stated, “The MENA Common Core Conference has been the best professional development I have received since teaching in the UAE. The sessions were very informative and helped me become a better teacher while implementing the Common Core. I was also able to connect with the expert speakers on a one-to-one basis during the intimate conference sessions. I truly loved that some of the presenters were local educators teaching Common Core. The conference was so diverse and culturally enlightening that I can’t wait for next year’s MENA Conference!”

The MENA Common Core Conference is organised by KDSL – Know, Do, Serve, Learn. KDSL is a Dubai based education company founded by Kevin Simpson and Alison Burrows, American educators and entrepreneurs. KDSL partners with organisations around the world to increase student achievement, teacher knowledge, and leadership in education.

Kevin Simpson

Managing Director, KDSL

Alison Burrows

Managing Director, KDSL

Conference site:

KDSL Webste: