A few weeks ago, I had a terrific opportunity to join a panel discussion of education advocates and policymakers at a Georgetown University FutureEd event. The discussion was led by the renowned educational expert Andreas Schleicher, OECD’s Director for Education and Skills, developer of the international PISA exam and author of World Class: How to Build a 21st-Century School System.
Our panel agreed there’s a lot of work to do in education policy: American 15-year-olds are ranked 18th in science, 15th in reading and 35th in math among the 60 industrialized nations whose students took the most recent PISA exam in 2015. Worse yet, U.S. students in high-poverty schools ranked nearly last in all subjects.
While we didn’t agree on all the solutions—no surprise there given the diverse experiences and perspectives represented—the panelists did agree with something Schleicher observed: the best education systems look outward. Top-performing countries, he said, look closely and continuously at successful practices and apply them consciously. That really resonated with me.
You’ll find that important theme throughout ExcelinEd’s upcoming National Summit on Education Reform, featuring a keynote address by Andreas Schleicher on Friday, December 7. I’m excited to hear from him again, and for others to learn from his analysis of decades of PISA data as well as his collaboration with education leaders across 70 countries.
Throughout the National Summit, policymakers will be encouraged to follow Schleicher’s advice to look outward—not only to the best education systems in the world but also across state boundaries. Through panels, keynotes and informal networking opportunities, state policymakers from nearly all 50 states will share their newest ideas, best practices and inspiration for building the 21st-century education systems that all our students deserve.
I hope to see you in Washington, D.C., in December!
About the author
Claire is the National Director of Policy. Previously, Claire worked at HCM Strategists where she provided clients with strategic advice on new approaches to education reform. Claire was also an instructor at Koç University in Istanbul, teaching a comparative course on education rights and policies in the U.S. and Turkey. Before spending time in Turkey, Claire was an associate at Hogan Lovells law firm and served as an associate director in the White House Domestic Policy Council where she assisted senior staff in shaping the Administration’s education policies. Claire began her career as a fourth grade teacher at P.S. 43 in the South Bronx, New York. A native of Washington, D.C., Claire earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master of science in elementary education from Mercy College, a master of public policy from Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.