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Knowledge Base

Education and the Nation’s Future

What kind of policies can the school adopt to improve their education system?

From existing research, four interrelated policies come to the forefront. School systems must: evaluate and reward directly good teacher performance; promote more completion so that parental demand will create strong incentives to improve individual schools; offer greater autonomy in local decision-making, so that individual schools and their leaders can take actions to promote student achievement; and set up an accountability system that demands good school performance and rewards results.

Who is responsible for enhancing the quality of schools – the state or federal government?

Both. The states have primary responsibility for the schools, but the federal government can be an important factor in setting the agenda and ensuring that the agenda is accomplished. 

What should the education role of federal government be?

First, Washington must take a national leadership role in promoting the importance of world-class education for the US. Second, the federal government should continue supporting disadvantaged and special education students, as well as low-income students in colleges and universities through grants and loans. Third, the federal government should invest more in research about programs and policies that are needed to inform education policymaking. They should also ensure that high-quality data is available to qualified researchers pursuing the continued expansion of policy-relevant knowledge.

What is the basic argument for more widespread education in America?

The acquisition of basic skills in reading and especially in mathematics in elementary and secondary school enhances a student’s long-term economic prospects. Countries that educate students to higher levels of achievement enjoys higher levels of economic productivity and more rapid rates of economic growth. The United States is not providing an educational setting in which as large a percentage of students are reaching proficiency in math as thirty-one other countries in the industrialized world. The United States isn’t bringing as large a percentage of its students to the advanced level as twenty-nine other countries in the industrialized world.

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