Center on International Education Benchmarking

Governing American Education

Why This Dry Subject May Hold the Key to Advances in American Education

Recently Marc Tucker and CIEB partnered with the Center for American Progress and the Broad Foundation to produce a report outlining the school governance structures used in the top-performing countries around the world in an effort to draw out lessons for the United States. The paper looked at Australia, Canada (Ontario), China (Hong Kong and Shanghai), Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Singapore – all among the countries with the highest student achievement and greatest equity as reported by PISA. The report argues that school governance might be the most important topic in American education today and that we will not be able to meet the challenges that now face us until we rethink the way we approach education policy.

Read the introduction and summary

Read the report

Panel Discussion

On May 14th, Marc joined Ben Jensen, Director of the School Education Program at the Grattan Institute (Australia), Chester E. Finn, Jr., President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Lydia Logan, Managing Director for Chiefs for Change, and moderator Cynthia G. Brown, Vice President for Education Policy at Center for American Progress for a discussion of this paper along with two others which were released simultaneously about how high-performing nations organize, manage, and fund their schools. See full video of the event below. More information at

In the Media

Education Lessons from Around the World, U.S. News & World Report, May 20, 2013

“Panel: U.S. Can’t Readily Replicate Educational Turnaround of Other Countries”, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, May 14, 2013

“How did Shanghai’s schools get so good?”, Foreign Policy, May 14, 2013