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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

10 Steps to World-Class Schools

The Washington Post

Co-authored by William Brock, Ray Marshall, and Marc Turner

The key to U.S. global stature after World War II was the world's best-educated workforce. But
now the United States ranks No. 12, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development, and today's younger generation is the first to be less educated than the preceding

No Child Left Behind is about getting our lowest-performing students to minimum standards. That
is nowhere near enough. To get us where we need to go, we propose the National World Class
Schools Act to replace NCLB. To get its fair share of federal education funds, a state would need

Yes, these are radical proposals. But decades of incremental proposals have brought steadily increasing costs and flat performance. Time is running out. It is hard to make a case that the federal government should continue to fund the states to maintain the status quo.

William Brock was secretary of labor in the Reagan administration. Ray Marshall was secretary of labor in the Carter administration. Marc Tucker is president of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). They are leaders of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, an initiative of the NCEE.

Copyright 2009 The Washington Post

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