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ERIC Number: EJ857707
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
Why We're behind: What Top Nations Teach Their Students but We Don't
Ravitch, Diane; Cortese, Antonia
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v75 n1 p35-38 Sep 2009
Over the years, American students consistently have ranked below those from Finland, Canada, Japan, and at least a dozen other industrialized nations on international tests of mathematics, science, and reading. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has done nothing to close this gap. And the authors suspect that the law may be making matters worse. In part, because NCLB has narrowed the curriculum so that most students are not acquiring the broad base of knowledge they need to succeed as they advance through school. While American students are spending endless hours preparing to take tests of their basic reading and math skills, their peers in high-performing nations are reading poetry and novels, conducting experiments in chemistry and physics, making music, and studying important historical issues. The U.S. is the only leading industrialized nation that considers the mastery of basic skills to be the goal of K-12 education. The nations that consistently outrank it on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) deliver a comprehensive, content-rich education to their young citizens. What the authors have learned from their study is that the best nations do what is best for their students and that means building a great education system, not just attempting to prepare them for the labor market.
Prakken Publications. 832 Phoenix Drive, P.O. Box 8623, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Tel: 734-975-2800; Fax: 734-975-2787; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; Finland; Japan; South Korea; Switzerland; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001