This book answers a simple question: How would one redesign the American education system if the aim was to take advantage of everything that has been learned by countries with the world’s best education systems?
With a growing number of countries outperforming the United States on the most respected comparisons of student achievement—and spending less on education per student—this question is critical.
Surpassing Shanghai looks in depth at the education systems that are leading the world in student performance to find out what strategies are working and how they might apply to the United States. Developed from the work of the National Center on Education and the Economy, which has been researching the education systems of countries with the highest student performance for more than twenty years, this book provides a series of answers to the question of how the United States can compete with the world’s best.
This extraordinary book could not be more timely or more important . . . This collection makes clear that, if we actually want to create high-quality schools for all children in the United States, our strategies must emulate the best of what has been accomplished in public education both here and abroad. — From the Foreword by Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University
Surpassing Shanghai should be on the reading list of everyone who aspires to improve American education. The message is clear: If we are serious, we have to stop simply comparing California to Connecticut to Kansas. It’s time to swim in deeper water with Singapore, Ontario, Japan, and others who are eating our lunch.
— John Merrow, education correspondent, PBS NewsHour and president, Learning Matters
This book shines because it offers what is central to school reform: a commitment to wonderful teachers. It offers those of us in colleges of education a lot to think about—and a lot to do. — Mari Koerner, Dean, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University
Tucker and his colleagues challenge us to ask why the U.S. is pursuing a reform agenda that differs markedly from what other advanced countries have found essential for creating good schools—high quality teachers, fair funding, and coherence in the system of education. After reading this book, one is left with the question: Is the U.S. so unique that an agenda so different from that of other countries can improve our schools? — Jack Jennings, president and CEO, Center on Education Policy
Marc Tucker has assembled revealing descriptions of the ascent of Shanghai, Finland, Japan, Singapore, and Canada to the highest levels of international achievement in education. The book crystallizes the successful practices and patterns emerging from these top performers and then ‘takes the gloves off’ to contrast the efforts of high-achieving countries with current reform thinking in the U.S. . . . My big takeaway from Surpassing Shanghai is that success will come down to our collective will and our sustained commitment to thoughtful systems reform. — Gene Wilhoit, executive director, Council of Chief State School Officers