1887

2007 OECD Economic Surveys: United States 2007

image of OECD Economic Surveys: United States 2007
This edition of OECD's periodic survey of the US economy assesses recent economic developments and examines challenges the US faces including employment limits that are slowing economic growth, fiscal sustainability, household debt, improving primary and secondary education, and financing higher education. This book includes StatLinks, URLs under tables and graphs linking to Excel® spreadsheet files containing the underlying data.

"Has an international bureaucracy ever made so much sense in so few words? If so, I missed it."-Greg Mankiw

English French

.

Improving primary and secondary education

The average educational attainment of US students is weak by international comparison. For example, mean results of PISA test scores are below the OECD average. This is despite substantial resources devoted to the schooling system. One partial explanation for this is that academic standards, curriculum and examinations are not sufficiently challenging in most US states. In 2001, Congress enacted the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) to raise achievement levels, especially of certain groups that perform badly. The Act requires states to establish clear content standards as to what students should know, to regularly assess performance and to set thresholds for adequate yearly progress; it also requires schools where students are failing to meet such thresholds to improve or close, while enhancing options for parents of children in such schools to place their children elsewhere. The law appears to be well conceived, addressing key problems in a sensible manner. Preliminary indications are consistent with it raising school performance and closing achievement gaps. The NCLB legislation should therefore be reauthorised. Moreover, the NCLB framework of standards, assessment and accountability should be extended through upper secondary education. That said, there are a number of areas in which improvements could be made. Though the federal government cannot set standards, it could strengthen incentives for more states to make their standards more challenging. As well, the federal government should help states and districts to better test student achievement and assess progress.

English French

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error