3. Each particular stage of the school system improvement journey is associated with a unique set of interventions.

4. A system’s context might not determine what needs to be done, but it does determine how it is done.

5. Six interventions occur equally at every performance stage for all systems: teacher and administrator professional development, assessing students, improving data systems, introduction of policy documents and education laws, revising standards and curriculum, and ensuring reward and remuneration structure for teachers and principals.

6. Systems further along the journey sustain improvement by balancing school autonomy with consistent teacher practice.

7. Leaders take advantage of changed circumstances to ignite reform.

8. Leadership continuity is essential.

“Aligning education goals to economic development, Asian nations have scoured the world for models of effective education systems, and implemented them consistently through deliberate policies and long-term investments,” said Tony Jackson, vice president of education at Asia Society. “Any definition of a world-class education must include knowledge of Asia and the language and cultural skills to deal with Asia. It’s a two-way street: America must now learn from—and with—Asia and the world.”



2009 PISA results

McKinsey & Company

Note to readers:

Don’t forget to visit our “Solving the STEM Education Crisis” Educator Resource Center. As technology becomes an integral part of the workplace, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills are no longer just “good skills” to have; they are increasingly important to a 21st-century education. Go to:

Solving the STEM Education Crisis