Endangering Prosperity A Global View of the American School

ISBN-10: 0815703732
ISBN-13: 9780815703730
Edition: 2013
List price: $15.99 Buy it from $3.50
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Description: The relative deficiencies of U.S. public schools are a serious concern to parents and policymakers. But they should be of concern to all Americans, as a globalizing world introduces new competition for talent, markets, capital, and opportunity. In  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.99
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 6/19/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 147
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.528
Language: English

The relative deficiencies of U.S. public schools are a serious concern to parents and policymakers. But they should be of concern to all Americans, as a globalizing world introduces new competition for talent, markets, capital, and opportunity. In Our Schools and Our Prosperity, a trio of experts on international education policy compares the performance of American schools against that of other nations. The net result is a mixed but largely disappointing picture that clearly shows where improvement is most needed. The authors' objective is not to explain the deep causes of past failures but to document how dramatically the U.S. school system has failed its students and its citizens. It is a wake-up call for structural reform. To move forward to a different and better future requires that we understand just how serious a situation America faces today.For example, the authors consider the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international mathematics examination. America is stuck in the middle of average scores, barely beating out European countries whose national economies are in the red zone. U.S. performance as measured against stronger economies is even weaker —in total, 32 nations outperformed the United States. The authors also delve into comparative reading scores. A mere 31 percent of U.S. students in the class of 2011 could perform at the "proficient" level as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) program, compared with South Korea's result of 47 percent. And while some observers may downplay the significance of cross-globe comparisons, they should note that Canadian students are dramatically outpacing their U.S. counterparts as well.Clearly something is wrong with this picture, and this book clearly explicates the costs of inaction. The time for incremental tweaking the system is long past —wider, deeper, and more courageous steps are needed, as this book amply demonstrates with accessible prose, supported with hard data that simply cannot be ignored.

Eric Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He is also chairman of the Executive Committee for the Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas at Dallas, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences and of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Education Excellence (California).

Ludger Woessmann is Professor of Economics at the University of Munich, and holds a joint appointment as Head of the "Human Capital and Innovation" Department at Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Germany.

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