International Competitiveness and Education: A Conversation with Arne Duncan

Speaker: Arne Duncan
Presider: John DeGioia

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.


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U.S. Education Reform and National Security: Report of a CFR-Sponsored Independent Task Force

Panelist: Joel I. Klein
Panelist: Margaret Spellings
Presider: Jon Meacham

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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Education for Children of Conflict Roundtable Series: Iraq, Education, and Children of Conflict

Panelist: Safaa El-Kogali
Panelist: Angelina Jolie
Panelist: George Rupp
Presider: Gene Sperling

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.

Transcript: Iraq, Education, and Children of Conflict

Video Highlights: Iraq, Education, and Children of Conflict

See more in Iraq; Refugees and the Displaced; Education


Education Will Foster Demand For International Journalism

Interview of: James O. Goldsborough

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

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Must Read

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Qatar Sets Its Own Terms for U.S. Universities

Author: Ursula Lindsey

"'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?"

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Must Read Author: Megan McArdle

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.

See more in Education; United States