Published in 2016, the 9 Building Blocks for a World-Class Education System distilled NCEE’s research on the world’s best education systems. Our goal in producing this document was to identify the strategies those countries used to outperform the United States in the hope that American policymakers could use that research to improve the performance of their systems. In 2020, NCEE revised and updated the 9 Building Blocks, culminating in a new document, NCEE’s Blueprint for a High-Performing Education System.
The NCEE Blueprint embraces the strong research basis behind the 9 Building Blocks, but reconfigures the building blocks to better represent the alignment between system components. It also more explicitly focuses on how systems achieve equity and efficiency alongside excellence. And finally, the NCEE Blueprint features our latest research into the policies and practices of high-performing systems, conducted in the years since the 9 Building Blocks was written.