Hundreds of reforms are introduced into American school systems every year. Unfortunately, most fail to achieve the substantial improvements that their advocates hoped for and, overall, U.S. educational performance has been flat for the past 20 years.
We now know that a number of other countries — primarily Asian nations — have gotten a lot better than the U.S., accelerating educational improvement in a short time and on a large scale. Their success in improving hundreds of schools is inspiring. But what exactly has enabled them to raise their game and become global high performers? And are there lessons for U.S. schools?