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Why We're Behind: What Top Nations Teach Their Students But We Don't


Why We're Behind takes an in-depth look into the content of education in nine high-performing nations that consistently outperform the U.S. on international assessments, specifically on PISA: Finland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, and Switzerland. Researchers found that one common ingredient among these nations is that they are dedicated to educating their children deeply in a wide range of subjects. This report publishes extended excerpts from national curricula, standards, and assessment practices - documents that can offer lessons to individual states that might want to follow these exceptional models. The excerpts are also full of useful guidance for the common standards movement.

As our nation considers common standards, let us keep in mind that the notion of standards being "common" is less important than what the standards contain. Rich content must be the top priority.