Countries that redesign their education systems to achieve excellent student performance, equitably and efficiently, and to be adaptive to a future that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) will likely enjoy high standards of living for years to come. Those that fail to do so, especially high-wage countries like the U.S., will struggle to compete and will face steadily widening income disparities, deepening inequities, and growing civil unrest.
This begs the question: how have so many other countries’ education systems gotten better results than the U.S., and what can our country do to exceed them and meet the challenges of an uncertain future?
For more than three decades, NCEE has been researching the answer to that question by identifying high-performing education systems around the world and the common elements they share. We define high-performing education systems as those that achieve excellence, equity, and efficiency: world-class levels of performance, for every student, at a sustainable cost. We compare these systems to the U.S. and to one another to better understand how they function as systems, the similarities and differences between them and the tradeoffs they have made. And we report on how they are changing to anticipate the future. NCEE’s Blueprint for a High-Performing Education System is a distillation of that research, identifying the common components underpinning the design of high-performing education systems. The NCEE Blueprint guides our work with states, districts, and schools as we work together to create high-quality education systems adapted to the context of each specific system.
School systems and leaders around the world are driven by a vision of creating education systems that deliver future-ready students. NCEE’s Center on Policy Solutions offers unparalleled expertise and support in making this vision a reality in the United States. We provide policy insights, system analysis, and consulting support for states and regional entities that are informed by and adapted to their unique contexts.
Analyze Context & Benchmark Against Top Performers
NCEE helps state policymakers analyze their current state policy context, and compare it against detailed examples of policies and practices in the highest performing systems domestically and globally. This exercise helps policymakers see what is possible based on the real-world experiences of other systems, generate ideas for policies to adapt, and recognize the strengths and opportunities of their current systems.
Set a Vision and Concrete Goals
Based on the results of that benchmarking exercise, we help policy leaders to set an ambitious vision of what they want their education system to look like in 10 years, informed by our analysis of long-term global economic and educational trends. We help to build broad consensus on that vision so that it can serve as a “north star” for the state. We also help state policymakers to articulate concrete policy goals that can serve as checkpoints to realizing the vision.
Develop Tailored Implementation Plans
We work closely with state legislators and departmental leaders to build a legislative and regulatory strategy and a detailed implementation plan that will enable the state to achieve its goals for education and, ultimately, to realize its long-term vision. NCEE can also provide support with the initial implementation of that plan.
Contact Nathan Driskell, Associate Director of Policy Analysis and Development, for more information or to initiate a proposal.