Front Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

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pp. vii-x

The Duke of Wellington famously remarked that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. That was in an elitist age. Today, the battle for America’s future will be won or lost in its public schools. Unfortunately, victory is not at hand. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

The chapters on international test comparisons are extensions of analyses previously released by the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance in the Taubman Center on State and Local Government, Harvard Kennedy School, in the form of three reports by Eric A. Hanushek, ...

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1. An Economic Future Imperiled

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pp. 1-16

Americans like to believe that their youth are truly exceptional. A glow of pride spreads across the land whenever young U.S. athletes win more medals than any other nation in the Olympics, as in Vancouver in the winter of 2010 and in London in the summer of 2012. ...

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2. Human Capital and Economic Prosperity

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pp. 17-32

Few doubt that human capital is important to economic prosperity. But how do we measure a nation’s human capital? Is it high school completion and the amount of education attained by the citizens of a country, that is, the number of years of schooling the average person has received? ...

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3. A Global View of U.S. Student Proficiency Rates

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pp. 33-46

If American students are to have successful careers, and if the country as a whole is to prosper in the decades to come, American students must be, at a minimum, proficient in math and reading. There is much more to education than competence in these basic subjects, but it is difficult to imagine high levels of scientific and historical knowledge, ...

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4. U.S. Advanced Performance in Global Perspective

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pp. 47-56

Public discourse tends to focus on the need, particularly among disadvantaged students, to reach basic levels of achievement. That focus has been evident since the passage of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1965, when special attention to the needs of low performers was reinforced ...

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5. Economic Benefits of Higher Performance

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pp. 57-68

That the system of education in the United States is lackluster is indicated by the following four facts established in the previous chapters of this volume: ...

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6. A Global View of Growth in U.S. Achievement

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pp. 69-84

If one takes a long, historical perspective, the answer to the first query is obviously in the affirmative. Nations across the globe, particularly as they transition to modern industrial societies, have enhanced the human capital of their citizens throughout the past two centuries. ...

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7. Substantive Concerns and Political Obstacles

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pp. 85-104

U.S. schools are not helping the next generation reach its full potential. Compared to what is being accomplished by other industrialized countries, the performance of the United States, once the world’s education leader, is now, especially in mathematics, below average. ...

Appendix A: Methodology for Comparing U.S. and International Performance

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pp. 105-116

Appendix B: Two Measures of Reading Proficiency

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pp. 117-120

Notes

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pp. 121-132

References

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pp. 133-140

Index

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pp. 141-147

Back Cover

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pp. 161-161