While the United States has fallen behind the top performing nations in K-12 education, there are specific actionable steps states can take to once again compete internationally particularly with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), according to a report issued by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL.
The report, “No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-ClassEducation System State by State,” is based on the culmination of nearly two years of study by the NCSL International Education Study Group, a bipartisan group of state legislators and legislative staff representing 28 states. The report explains the commonalities between the top performing countries, and details what steps states can take to once again compete internationally.
The report finds the top performing countries have a set of four elements in common, including:
Children come to school ready to learn and extra support is given to struggling students.
A world-class teaching profession that provides highly effective teachers to all students.
A highly effective and intellectually rigorous system of career and technical education.
Individual reforms that are connected and aligned as parts of a clearly planned and carefully designed comprehensive systems.
According to the latest reports, out of the 65 countries, the U.S. placed 24th in reading, 36th in math and 28th in science. Another report, which looked at millennials in the workplace, placed the U.S. last in problem solving.
The study group also pointed to some steps states can take immediately to improve their education system, including:
Build an inclusive team and set priorities.
Study and learn from top performers.
Create a shared statewide vision.
Get started on one piece.
Work through “messiness”.
Invest the time.