Lessons from the Smartest Kids in the World

Journalist Amanda Ripley examines what other developed countries are doing right in education.


What can parents do to help?

It's pretty simple. If your kid comes home with busywork for homework, particularly when they're little and you have an ability to intervene, don't wait and hope it will get better. Bring it to the teacher or email the teacher and suggest what might be more challenging. You need to send a signal to the teachers about what your kid can do.

What can education leaders and teachers take away from your book?

The Common Core State Standards are only going to work if principals give teachers time and space to collaborate and brainstorm about how to make them work. They need a boss who trusts them. Experiment with technology, work on individualized learning and customized learning. But it's one tool. Make sure it's worth the cost. It's easy to get dispirited in the U.S. debate over education. But when you see how much change is happening around the world, you realize that things don't have to stay the same. There's hope.

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