Test scores are just the tip of the iceberg.
That is the finding of a recent report by a partnership that included the Horace Mann League of the U.S.A., and the National Superintendents Roundtable.
The researchers studied the education systems of nine prominent nations.
They found six areas that proved essential for student success: economic equity, social stress, support for young families, support for schools, student outcomes, and system outcomes.
Among the countries studied — Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States — we scored very low on economic equity and social stress.
The study also found that U.S. teachers work significantly longer hours per year than in any of those other nations.
The U.S. scored the highest of all the countries in terms of system outcomes: years of education completed, possession of secondary and bachelor’s degrees, and the global share of high-achieving science students.
To improve education more effectively, the study demonstrated, it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on below the waterline in areas like economic equity, social stress, overall support for schools, and support for young families.