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New Study Finds U.S. Behind in Education, But Who's Ahead?

Legislators shed light on the steps that need to be taken for the U.S. education system to catch up with the rest of the world.

Last week, a bipartisan group of 28 state legislators from across the country released a 27-page report on the status of U.S. public education performance in relation to the rest of the world. The report was in response to a 2013 study that showed the U.S. falling behind other countries including China, Singapore, Estonia, Poland, and Korea. You can read the full report here.

What the policymakers identified was that the top-performing countries took great steps to ensure that children arrive at school ready to learn. These high-performing countries created varying levels of social support programs to ensure that working families were provided with resources such as child care that allowed parents to focus on the needs of school-aged children within the home.

The report also studied the impact of educator compensation in relation to student performance and identified the correlation between countries that promote a world-class instructional system and higher performance, going so far as to state, "The highly professional teaching force is well prepared, well compensated and well supported throughout their careers."

Recommendations made by the study group include:

  • Building an inclusive team of state and local policymakers, teachers, principals, superintendents, unions, businesses, parents, and students to develop a vision for reform and to identify priorities.
  • Reconsider what you think is working, and call on education systems to take a comprehensive approach to review all aspects of the state's education.
  • Create a shared vision among statewide stakeholders.
  • Establish benchmark policies, leading to long-term success.

At Common Sense Kids Action, we're working every day to make the world a better place for children and students. Join our efforts to make kids our nation's top priority -- become a Kids Action Advocate today!

JR Starrett
JR oversees Let's Invest Large in Youth (LILY), a multi state program for Common Sense Kids Action. In this capacity JR works with a team of internal and external stakeholders to identify and introduce state based legislation that will positively impact kids. Prior to joining Common Sense, JR served as a seasoned political operative managing campaign efforts for some of the nation’s most competitive races. JR was recognized as a Rising Star by Campaigns and Elections magazine in 2014. He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife Morgan. JR is a frequent contributor to Campaigns and Elections Magazine, contributing to the Campaign Insider column.