Center on International Education Benchmarking

1. New Release: The Condition of Education 2019

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) just released the 2019 version of The Condition of Education, an annual report summarizing important developments and trends in education. The report presents 48 indicators on topics ranging from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary education, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparison of performance using PIRLS, TIMSS and PISA international assessment data. Among many of the report’s findings is that across OECD countries, the average percentage of the adult population with a post-secondary degree was 37 percent in 2017, an increase of 15 percentage points from 2000. During the same period, the percentage of U.S. adults with a post-secondary degree increased only 10 percentage points to 46 percent. For the latest education statistics, read the full report here.

multiracial students standing in a row

2. OECDs ‘Learning Compass’ Identifies Competencies for 2030


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has unveiled a new tool to help guide school systems around the world in preparing students for an increasingly complex world. The Learning Compass 2030, developed as part of the OECD’s Future of Education and Skills 2030 project, identifies the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values all students will need during a future with widespread use of digital technology and artificial intelligence. More information is available here.

3. High School General Course Reform Proposed in Japan

A Japanese government panel submitted to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday a set of proposals to reform the general studies high school program. Japanese high schools currently teach a general studies program as well as special subject options that provide specialized education including on agriculture and engineering. About 70 percent of students opt to take the general studies program. The panel called for, among other things, dividing the current general studies program into four different focus areas: one with a focus on career education, one focused on nurturing leaders for roles in the international arena, one fostering innovators in science and technology, and one focused on resolving challenges facing regional communities. The council asked the government to create these focus areas and allow each school to decide which type of programs it will adopt. Minister Abe said, “The government will steadily implement education reforms based on the proposals in order to make Japan a country where each person can shine with hopes for tomorrow.” Read more at

Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe

4. Ontario Releases First Nation Studies Curriculum Amidst Controversy

Ontario Minister of Education Lisa Thompson
Ontario Minister of Education Lisa Thompson

Ontario released its new First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies, Grades 9-12, curriculum. The curriculum includes 10 secondary-level elective courses, which are intended to provide students with “up-to-date learning about First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, cultures, contributions and contemporary realities” across subject areas. Education Minister Lisa Thompson said “we are committed to ensuring that Indigenous perspectives are present in Ontario’s curriculum.” Indigenous leaders expressed concern, however, that collaboration with Indigenious groups on the development of this curriculum was halted last summer when the Conservative Party took over the government. The Conservative government has promised “collaboration” with these groups after the curriculum is released.

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