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The Time is Now: Reimagining World-Class State Education Systems

In a groundbreaking new report, a bipartisan group of 20 state legislators and staff are urging their colleagues to reimagine public education in the U.S. based on the successful practices and policies of the world’s best education systems.

Elementary school pupils running outside looking excited

The report, “The Time is Now: Reimagining World-Class State Education Systems,” was released this week by the International Education Study Group, which was co-sponsored and co-convened by NCEE, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). It calls on policymakers to set new goals, embrace creativity and innovation in state policies and co-create a better education system that enables all learners to thrive in tomorrow’s workforce.

The National Center on Education and the Economy, in partnership with NCSL and SREB, played a primary role in supporting the bipartisan group as they studied the world’s best systems, the changing dynamics in workforce demands, and the latest in education research.

NCEE CEO Vicki Phillips called the report a significant opportunity to set a new, bipartisan vision for the American education system of the future.

The Time is Now provides a tangible pathway toward the transformative strategies that are propelling systems around the world to better and more equitable outcomes for students,” Phillips noted. “This is an important moment for education in our country, endorsing a bipartisan, shared and collaborative vision for how we can improve our schools and systems. In the post-pandemic context, leaders around the country are searching for the means to navigate an uncertain future. The Time is Now provides leaders with the tools to begin to do just that.”

The Time is Now reaffirms the legislative agenda and call to action put forth in the influential 2016 report, No Time to Lose—still widely discussed in legislative circles today. NCEE first partnered with NCSL in 2014 to lead a group of state legislators serving as education chairs and education committee staff to learn about high-performing education systems and consider how they could use what they learned to improve education systems in their states.

Both the 2022 and 2016 reports are deeply grounded in and informed by the synthesis of NCEE’s international education benchmarking and research, The Blueprint for a High-Performing Education System.