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What We’ve Learned

Students in almost 30 countries now outperform students in the U.S. in mathematics, reading, science and problem solving. These systems produce not just higher achievement, but also produce more equitable results for all of their students—and it costs them much less per student to produce these outcomes.

For three decades, the National Center on Education and the Economy has been studying high-performing systems to identify the principles, policies, and practices that make top performers effective. By benchmarking the strategies and policies of systems like Canada, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan — all top performers on the Programme for International Student Assessment—NCEE has distilled these research findings into the 9 Building Blocks of a Successful State Education System.

9 Building Blocks for a World-Class Education System

NCEE’s Center on International Education Benchmarking (CIEB) is the nation’s premier resource for information on the world’s top-performing education systems. It is a trusted authority for researchers and policy makers around the world and across the education landscape. CIEB both conducts and supports groundbreaking research into vital issues in education and workforce development. Through its various outreach platforms, it reaches more than 20,000 researchers, policy makers, and educators weekly.

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