- The National Conference of State Legislatures released a new report this week based on two years of research into the education policies of the world’s top-performing countries, including Canada, Estonia, Finland, Japan, Poland, China, and Singapore.
- U.S. News & World Report writes that the legislators urge an increased focus on early childhood education, a revival of career and technical education and a redesign of teacher preparation.
- The report also recommends states develop clear pathways from the K-12 system to college, and from both systems to career, partnering with employers to design curricula and offer internships.
The fundamentals that the NCSL identified in its report can be listed quickly, as though they’re simple, but it will take major work to accomplish a redesign of the teacher training system, and investing in early childhood requires legislatures across the country to consider raising taxes — always a very hard decision. Still, the Obama administration has pushed hard for an expansion of early childhood education, and many cities have created programs that expand access especially to low-income students, who need extra support before they get to kindergarten.
Two areas that schools and districts can address largely on their own are related to CTE and local partnerships. Incorporating more career and technical education into course lists and partnering with local businesses and colleges to ease pathways for students can begin right away.