The new report from America Achieves today (pdf) is worth your time, it’s more granular than the usual international comparison debate. It has salience for a few ongoing debates but what it fundamentally highlights is a key aspect of education in this country: High variance. Achievement, spending, teacher pay and so forth is all discussed in the language of averages. But the real story on all those issues is the variance.
This report shows that we have internationally competitive schools, good ones in all parts of the sector. But we need more. The analysis also shows that if you’re a parent, don’t be complacent. If you don’t think your school could be a middling school, look at some of the ones profiled, then think again.