Welcome to NCEE’s new website and branding! Learn more.

Tough Choices or Tough Times

This report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce shows how the dynamics of the global economy will lead to a steady decline in the American standard of living if this country does not undertake the first thorough overhaul of its education system in a century.

Tough Choices or Tough Times calls for first redesign of the American education system in a century. This report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce shows how the dynamics of the global economy will lead to a steady decline in the American standard of living if this country does not undertake the first thorough overhaul of its education system in a century. It shows how our country can graduate 95% of our students (not two-thirds, as it does now) after 12 years and the majority after only 10 years of grade school. It reveals how billions of dollars can be saved by changing the way students progress through the grades and how the money saved could be used to build high quality early childhood education systems, attract the best and brightest teachers, and provide the resources for even the most disadvantaged students to reach world class standards. This hard-hitting analysis describes the kind of economy needed to sustain our current standard of living and kinds of skills and knowledge that American workers need to make that economy work. It also details the dramatic changes in governance, finance, organization, and management of the American education and training systems that are needed.
Tough Choices or Tough Times was written for anyone concerned with the future of this country and the state of our schools and our job training systems. It provides a well-researched analysis of the issues and a compelling set of proposals for changing our system of education.

Available on Amazon.

A set of Country Background Reports on the development and implementation of some of the world’s leading education systems—developed by the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce as part of the research that went into the Tough Choices or Tough Times report—is available here.