Recent studies have concluded that the United States continues to fall behind other countries in student achievement, particularly in the areas of math and science. Please join Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss the future of U.S. education policy and its implications for international competitiveness and national security.
Independent Task Force reports are consensus documents that offer comprehensive analysis and policy prescriptions for major U.S. foreign policy issues facing the United States, developed through private and nonpartisan deliberations among a group of high-level experts.
The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security is part of CFR's Renewing America initiative and asserts that fixing the nation's underperforming education system is critical for strengthening the country's security and increasing its economic competitiveness. The report offers guidance to policymakers and others on education reforms that will transform K-12 public school systems to ensure America's economic and political growth and security. The Task Force is chaired by Joel I. Klein and Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state and national security adviser. It is directed by Julia Levy, former director of communications for the New York City Department of Education.
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Due to war and sectarian violence, many Iraqis have fled their homes and are now living as refugees in neighboring countries or as internally displaced persons in Iraq. Children make up about half of the four million people uprooted from their homes, and there is no doubt that their education is falling through the cracks. The World Bank's Safaa El-Kogali, who recently met with the Iraqi Minister of Education, the Director General of Planning, and other senior officials, is working with the government on capacity-building initiatives to meet the needs of internally displaced children. George Rupp, President of the International Rescue Committee, recently returned from a trip to the region, where he met with top government officials from Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and the United States, as well as with Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan. Angelina Jolie traveled to Iraq in February to learn more about the situation of displaced children and to raise awareness about their humanitarian needs.
South Africa’s university strikes and demonstrations may presage stronger pressure on the governing African National Congress for accelerated social and economic change.
How should the United States reform its K-12 education system to retain global competitiveness? Four experts say reforms revolve around teachers.
Declining academic performance at K-12 levels poses a threat to U.S. competitiveness and national security. Greater school choice and support for core national standards should be central to reform, says Joel Klein, co-chair of a new CFR independent task force.
As part of the Edward R. Murrow 60th Anniversary initiative current and former fellows discuss the stories that have had the most impact and present ideas for sustaining serious international journalism. Former fellow James Goldsborough talks about the backlash of the Vietnam War felt in Western Europe and declares education as a way to foster demand for international journalism. For more on the initiative, visit cfr.org/murrow.
What CFR.org Editors are reading the week of August 3–7, 2015.
"'How do you transform into a nation without also transforming the traditional, monarchical, patriarchal system?' [historian Allen Fromherz] asks. As the small but natural-gas-rich country emerges onto the world's stage, this and other questions are unavoidable: Are the American universities actors in the country's future or merely props? Can they teach students to think critically about the contradictions and changes in Qatar while under the patronage of its ruling family?"
Education must become a central focus to ensure a stable and prosperous U.S. in the future, write Margaret Spellings and Joel Klein. Klein lead the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security.
Budgetary constraints in a tight economy have forced reform and created conflict at the University of Virginia.
Megan McArdle examines whether college is a worthwhile investment in a time when the rising costs are leaving parents and students with large amounts of debt and college degrees no longer guarantee a job after graduation.
Andrew Martin explains the challenges borrowers face as they struggle to pay off their student loans as both the federal government and the debt collection industry attempt to recoup their money.
Ken Auletta writes that there are no walls between Stanford and Silicon Valley. Should there be?
Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein, who lead the Independent Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, say improving education is key to America's leadership and national security.
Using Teach For America and the Finnish model as lenses through which to understand the United States' education issues, educational policy analyst Diane Ravitch asks what should and should not be done for America's K-12 school system.
Williams argues that the status quo for peace operations in untenable and that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
In The Hacked World Order, CFR Senior Fellow Adam Segal shows how governments use the web to wage war and spy on, coerce, and damage each other. More
Red Team provides an in-depth investigation into the work of red teams, revealing the best practices, most common pitfalls, and most effective applications of these modern-day devil's advocates. More
Through insightful analysis and engaging graphics, How America Stacks Up explores how the United States can keep pace with global economic competition. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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