In light of this front page news, it's a good time to re-send two recent McKinsey studies, plus three REALLY good Economist articles related to them:
September 2007: How the world's best-performing school systems come out on top
Changing what happens in the hearts and minds of millions of children—the main charge of any school system—is no simple task. That some do so successfully while others do not is indisputable. So why is it that some school systems consistently perform and improve faster than others?
To find out why some schools succeed where others do not, McKinsey studied 25 of the world's school systems, including 10 of the top performers. The experience of these top school systems suggest that three things matter most:
· Getting the right people to become teachers;
· Developing them into effective instructors; and
· Ensuring the system is available to deliver the best possible instruction for every child.
November 2010: How the world's most improved school systems keep getting better
How does a school system with poor performance become good? And how does one with good performance become excellent?
Our latest education report is the follow-up to the 2007 publication "How the world's best performing school systems come out on top," in which we examined the common attributes of high-performing school systems.
We compiled what we believe is the most comprehensive analysis of global school system reform ever assembled. This report identifies the reform elements that are replicable for school systems everywhere as well as what it really takes to achieve significant, sustained, and widespread gains in student outcomes.
In this new report, "How the world's most improved school systems keep getting better," we analyzed twenty systems from around the world, all with improving but differing levels of performance, examining how each has achieved significant, sustained, and widespread gains in student outcomes, as measured by international and national assessments.
Based on over 200 interviews with system stakeholders and analysis of some 600 interventions carried out by these systems this report identifies the reform elements that are replicable for school systems elsewhere as they move from poor to fair to good to great to excellent performance.
The systems we studied were: Armenia, Aspire (a US charter school system), Boston (Massachusetts), Chile, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Long Beach (California), Madhya Pradesh (India), Minas Gerais (Brazil), Ontario (Canada), Poland, Saxony (Germany), Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, and Western Cape (South Africa).