Patt Morrison for November 12, 2010

Your child may be an honor student at such-and-such elementary, but they are a dullard compared to those kids in Korea

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Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

What has to change in our education system if the U.S. is going to maintain national productivity?

The United States has been a powerhouse of international policy and innovation since first establishing itself as a free and independent nation. Our President is often referred to as the Leader of the Free World, and our nation is the richest in the world. Rarely outspent on anything, only three countries spend more money annually, per student than the United States. And yet, the United States is failing when it comes to education. New analysis finds the U.S. ranked 31st out of 56 countries in the percentage of students performing at a high level of accomplishment. Even when each state was studied as its own, solitary entity, comparing say Montana to Thailand and California to the Czech Republic the states – united or alone – can’t keep up. So why is the U.S. performing so poorly? One of the authors of the first-ever comprehensive study comparing U.S. students to students in 56 other countries counts a deep-seated incapacity to bring students up to the highest level of accomplishment in math.

Guest:

Eric Hanushek, Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and co-author of the report Math Performance in Global Perspective

Deborah Loewenberg Ball, dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan & former elementary school teacher


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