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Education in 2016 Through the 'Top Performers' Lens

Another year has come and is now headed for the exit, headlines are filled with terms like "polar vortex" and "President-Elect Trump", and I am once again reminded of how grateful I am to have an outlet like this blog to connect with so many people who care so deeply about education and the future our students will face.  As I have done in the past, I have put together a list of the most-read pieces I've offered in this space for your consideration.  This year, as was the case last year, saw record numbers of readers and comments here at Top Performers.  I thank you for your continued interest and contribution to what I see as a very productive dialogue. 

How to End Teacher Shortages, Really

In this, the most-read blog of the year, I discussed a new report on teacher shortages from my good friend Linda Darling-Hammond and her Learning Policy Institute and offered my thoughts on how the U.S. can produce the high-quality educators it needs.

How to Get a First-Rate Teacher in Front of Every Student

Another reader favorite, this blog looked at the lessons NCEE's Center on International Education Benchmarking is learning about how the world's top performers produce very, very good teachers across their entire systems.

Why the Common Core Will Be Declared a Failure

This piece from early March looked at criticism of the Common Core State Standards and how it frequently overlooks the reality that standards are just one component of a high-performing education system.

Why Education Research Has So Little Impact: The System Effect

Another early March piece, this caught readers' attention as it evaluated the limits of the dominant model of education research in the United States.

High-Performance Teacher Education: An Essential Component of the New System

In this blog, I shared some early insights from the latest research supported by our Center on International Education Benchmarking on how teacher education and training will need to change in order to build a top-performing education system in the United States.

(Another) Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

In response to Checker Finn's open letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, I outlined in my own letter how the philanthropists can achieve the results they seek in their work to improve U.S. schools.

Why Has Ed Tech Made So Little Difference

As reflected by the readership of this piece, educational technology continues to be a central issue for educators and researchers alike. In this blog I analyzed why, despite that interest, educational technology has failed to deliver on its promises of raising student achievement. 

A Stunning Report From the National Conference of State Legislatures

In this piece I discussed the new report authored by a bipartisan group of state legislators that shows how U.S. states can learn from the world's top performers and build an education system to compete with the very best.

U.S. Workforce Skills: Even Worse Than We Thought

New data released in March of this year on U.S. workforce skills showed us once again that U.S. workers are at an increasing disadvantage in the global labor market.

Dear President-Elect Trump

It is fitting that this list should conclude with a forward-looking message to our next president on what he can do to make good on his promises to those who have lost out in the changing global economy.

Once again, thank you for reading and thank you for caring about these issues that are so essential to the continued health of our democracy and society.  I wish you all a very happy new year and look forward to continuing our conversation in 2017.

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