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Council on Foreign Relations State and Local Officials Bulletin
March 2012

U.S. Education Reform and National Security

A CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force Report

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(Downing/Courtesy Reuters)


"Educational failure puts the United States' future economic prosperity, global position, and physical safety at risk," warn CFR Task Force chairs Joel I. Klein, former head of New York City public schools, and Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state.

CFR's Renewing America Initiative convened a Task Force of more than thirty prominent education experts, national security authorities, and corporate leaders to report on the education system in this country. The report notes that while the United States invests more in K-12 public education than many other developed countries, its students are ill-equipped to compete with their global peers. The Task Force finds that the lack of preparedness poses threats on multiple national security fronts.


How to Stay Competitive Amid the Manufacturing Decline

Spotlight on North Carolina

No state was struck harder by the loss of manufacturing employment than North Carolina. While some parts of the state were able to shift into more competitive sectors, others have been unable to rebound. The reasons why, and their connection to policy, argues Roland Stephen in this CFR Working Paper, offer important lessons for regions across the United States grappling with how to respond to this new era of growing international competition. Download the Report »

Tapping Into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

In his blog, CFR's Michael Levi weighs the pros and cons of withdrawing crude oil from the United States' Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Levi sees value in tapping into the reserve, but admits that this strategy could backfire. Either way, he argues that the U.S. government needs to fully commit to the route it choses. Join the Conversation »

Five Economic Trends to Watch in 2012

This CFR Expert Roundup asks representatives from CFR, Morgan Stanley, Brookings Institution, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and NYU Stern School of Business to identify the most significant economic trends of 2012. Follow the Experts >> Follow the Experts »

Energy Policies of the Presidential Hopefuls

Scroll through CFR's latest Issue Tracker to review the energy platforms of the presidential candidates. The issue of cost and availability of energy resources has heated up during the campaign as voters contend with rising gasoline prices. President Barack Obama and Republican candidates affirm that increasing energy independence is critical to national security. However, they disagree on environmental and regulatory policy and on which energy sectors should be favored. Track the Issue »