Center on International Education Benchmarking

An Agenda for American Education

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An American Agenda for Education Reform

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

This paper is the answer to a question: What would the education policies and practices of the United States be if they were based on the policies and practices of the countries that now lead the world in student performance? It is adapted from the last two chapters of Surpassing Shanghai.

Many Americans believe that the comparisons made with student performance in other countries are unfair or irrelevant. Even those who concede that other countries might have something to teach us continue to embrace solutions for our education problems that have never been embraced by the countries that are surpassing our performance with increasing frequency. Indeed, many of the things we accept as truisms about education in the United States are simply not supported by the facts. Click here to read about ten such myths about the American education system and how research at CIEB has debunked them.