Center on International Education Benchmarking

Leading High-Performance School Systems: Learning from the World’s Best


Learn why our current system is obsolete and explore the knowledge and skills needed to design and build a first-rate education system.


Leading High-Performance School Systems is an invaluable resource for school leaders preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s world.



About the Book

The U.S. education system is not preparing our students with the skills they need to thrive in a future shaped by globalization and advancing technology. Over the past 40 years, the performance of American high school students has plateaued and in some cases decreased. None of the major education reform efforts are helping U.S. students keep pace with a rapidly growing number of education systems around the world that are propelling their students to ever higher levels of achievements.

In Leading High-Performance School Systems: Lessons from the World’s Best, published by ASCD, Marc Tucker, who for five decades has shaped the face of educational improvement in the U.S. and across the world, details how education leaders can design and build highly effective systems for educating students from a wide range of backgrounds to world-class standards by learning from the international education systems that produce much higher achievement with greater equity and often at the same or lower cost. Guided by the principles common to the work of the world’s top-performers, Tucker lays out an agenda for school and district leaders that they can implement today.

Tucker provides actionable recommendations for U.S. education leaders around a key set of areas for building a coherent and effective school system that delivers high performance, equity and efficiency including:

  • How to ensure an abundant supply of excellent teachers
  • How to redesign schools as professional workplaces where teachers improve their skills continually
  • How to produce greater equity while working at the same time to raise performance
  • How to improve leadership training

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