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The smartest kids in the world and how they got that way

Several other countries are producing way better educational outcomes, while spending less on education and paying teachers considerably higher salaries than we do in the U.S.

Furthermore, they do it in public schools that educate everyone, not just cherry-picking motivated students in private or charter schools.

Amanda Ripley, author of “The Smartest Kids in the World,” examined how these countries do it. A hint of her findings: Neither the “liberal” nor the “conservative” so-called “solutions” commonly discussed in this country do anything to address the systemic problems we have, so neither approach will change much of anything. But each of these countries were not always so successful, each made changes that produced dramatic and fairly rapid results. Effective change not only could be done, it has been done in countries with the same challenges we face.

“This is the most insightful book I have ever read on the subject of what ails American education,” Think Tank host Mike O’Neil said. “Furthermore, the book presents a clear path to a solution to school underperformance. What is less clear, however, is whether we have the political will to do what it would take to fix our schools.”

Author Amanda Ripley is our guest in the Think Tank this Sunday. And, in our final segment, Pat McMahon joins host Mike O’Neil to discuss what she had to say.