As your editor made clear in this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast and as this publication consistently points out, there are no corners of American public education that are cordons solitaire from the education crisis.

There are two big problems with the hysteria from right-wing critics and teachers’ unions over Common Core: lack of easily available alternatives with comparable rigor to Common Core standards, and timing. In more than 40 states, Common Core is already happening, although the implementation issues are not trivial.

Almost exactly one year ago to the day, I brought your attention to a report from America Achieves that showed our nation’s lackluster K-12 education results are by no means just a matter of poverty.

Don’t blame poor kids for U.S. students’ mediocre performance on international math exams, write researchers in Education Next. When the children of college-educated parents are compared, U.S. students do even worse than our international competitors.

Paul Peterson, a Harvard University professor, took a similar view. "Our younger population should be doing better than our older population," he said. "The older population is better educated. And the younger population is entering the workforce."

Americans trail adults in other countries in math, literacy, problem-solving.
The results are "quite distressing," says Harvard University's Paul Peterson, co-author of Endangering Prosperity, a recent book on education and international competitiveness. "Other countries have been catching up for some time," he says. "At one time, we had a really significant lead, but those people are disappearing from the workforce."

In today’s Education Next book club, Mike Petrilli speaks with all three authors—Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, and Ludger Woessmann—about the evidence they bring to bear in Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School.