Federal Report Roundup

U.S. Urged to Shed ‘Tunnel Vision’

By David J. Hoff — March 31, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The United States has “tunnel vision” when it comes to comparing the performance of its students, its educational expectations of students, and policies affecting every level of education, the Alliance for Excellent Education writes in a new policy brief.

While other countries “eagerly compare” themselves against their peers, the report says, the United States “ignores the opportunities to learn from its international peers in education.”

The Washington-based group says the United States should increase its participation in testing and policy research conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based organization of developed countries, including the United States.

Expanding the amount of international benchmarking will be an important step in setting common, or national, standards, a process that President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan say they want to promote and support.

While the United States, as a whole, participates in the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, no U.S. states or cities provide big enough samples to be able to take part in that study on their own. In many OECD countries, provinces and cities participate in PISA to compare their results against other countries’, says the alliance, a nonprofit group that advocates policies to improve the quality of high schools.

The OECD also offers other research studies to measure the quality of teachers and school leaders, higher education policies, and overviews of national education policies. But the U.S. doesn’t provide data for such studies, the alliance says.

Other countries actively use the research and the OECD’s consulting services to help improve and refine their policies, according to the brief.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 01, 2009 edition of Education Week

Events

Teaching Webinar Examining the Evidence: What We’re Learning From the Field About Implementing High-Dosage Tutoring Programs
Tutoring programs have become a leading strategy to address COVID-19 learning loss. What evidence-based principles can district and school leaders draw on to design, implement, measure, and improve high-quality tutoring programs? And what are districts
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Schools Could Count Nonbinary Students Under Biden Proposal
The Civil Rights Data Collection for this school year could also revive questions about inexperienced teachers and preschool discipline.
6 min read
Image of a form with male and female checkboxes.
iStock/Getty
Federal 'Parents' Bill of Rights' Underscores Furor Over Curriculum and Transparency in Schools
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley's bill highlights how education issues like critical race theory will likely stay in the national political spotlight.
7 min read
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., says "it's time to give control back to parents, not woke bureaucrats."
Patrick Semansky/AP
Federal Opinion It’s Not Just the NSBA That’s Out of Touch. There’s a Bigger Problem
Those who influence educational policy or practice would do well to care about what parents and the public actually want.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal Dept. of Ed., Florida Continue to Battle Over Ban on School Mask Mandates
Federal officials say they’ll intervene if the Florida Dept. of Ed. goes ahead with sanctions on districts with mask mandates.
Ana Ceballos, Miami Herald
2 min read
Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran speaks alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, rear right, Fla. Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., left, state legislators, parents and educators, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran speaks alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, rear right, Fla. Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., left, state legislators, parents and educators, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP