Stealing from the World's Best Schools: What One U.S. Teacher Learned by Visiting Countries that are Doing Education Right (Paperback)
Why do students in two dozen countries, from China to Canada, continue to outperform American students in math, science and reading? And what does that reality mean for the future of our kids-and our nation? These are questions that drove Milken National Educator award-winning teacher Keith Ballard to become the first documented K-12 teacher to complete a self-funded study of schools in 17 countries that regularly beat us on international exams.
To discover what these places are doing right, he talked his way into meetings with top education officials in Estonia. He slept in his car so he could afford to visit schools in Switzerland, ate lunch in an elementary school cafeteria in Singapore and donned an apron in a home economics class in Finland. He even landed tours of classes in elusive North Korea. Over the course of a decade, he filmed hundreds of hours of video from more than 170 schools. In this thought-provoking tale, he blends firsthand accounts from inside the world's top classrooms, hard data and his own experiences as a public school teacher to explore eight distinct elements of the world's most successful education systems. Ballard advocates for sweeping change. But he also ends each chapter with practical steps every reader-whether you're a parent or a teacher, a student or a policymaker-can take right now to nudge our schools in the right direction and help our students prosper in this hypercompetitive world.