Current Work

NCEE has returned to its original goal of analyzing the world economic and educational scene to identify the best course for American education policy and present its proposals for change in the education system to the American public.

Specifically, it decided to follow up on the work of the first Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce by creating another, the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, to examine the workings of the current global economy and their implications for education and training in the United States.

That Commission released its report, Tough Choices or Tough Times, that called for a fundamental restructuring of how America educates its people. It features an innovative set of policy proposals designed to yield a system that would boost students to unprecedented levels of learning while creating a structure to give them the best teachers and schools the country can offer. One of the core elements of the Tough Choices proposal is the adoption of a system of State Board Examinations, world-class instructional systems that have been proven to prepare students for success in college and careers. In 2009, NCEE created Excellence for All, a network of schools, districts and states, committed to piloting this idea in the United States.

In 2010, under the request of Secretary Duncan and the supervision of the OECD, NCEE helped create a report for the United States on the strategies used by the countries with the most successful education systems.  This report, Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education was followed by NCEE’s next book, Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World’s Leading Systems (Harvard Education Press, 2011)The Center on International Education Benchmarking was also established in 2011 to expand NCEE’s continuing program of international comparative research on effective education systems.