Events | Education

Are International Comparisons A Smart Way to Judge U. S. Education Policy?: Why to use states rather than countries to inform our education policy

Date: October 30, 2015

Press release

The quality of education in the United States has been heavily criticized in part because of U.S. students’ performance on international tests, such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Although simple country averages may support such criticisms, there are many problems in comparing test scores of students in the U.S. as a whole with students in countries with very different social and educational environments. Not least of these problems is that students in the United States do not attend school in a “U.S. educational system,” but rather in at least 51 different systems, many of which have experienced very significant progress over time. The most relevant lessons for improving U.S. education may therefore be found in our successful states, rather than in other countries.

Join the Economic Policy Institute for a discussion on U.S. student performance and why inter-state comparisons may be able to teach us more than international tests about how to improve academic performance. Martin Carnoy, Stanford University professor, and Emma Garcia, EPI economist, will discuss their new paper as part of a panel discussion on October 30, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. to noon with James Harvey, director of the National Superintendents Roundtable and William H. Schmidt, Michigan State University professor. The panel will be followed by lunch.

What: Panel discussion and release of EPI paper, Bringing it back home: Why state comparisons are more useful than international comparisons for improving U.S. education policy

Who: Martin Carnoy, professor, Stanford University
Emma García, economist, Economic Policy Institute
James Harvey, director of the National Superintendents Roundtable
William H. Schmidt, professor, Michigan State University
Moderator: Mary Beth Marklein, U.S. correspondent for University World News

Where: Economic Policy Institute 1333 H Street NW, Suite 300

When: 10:30 a.m. Eastern
Friday, October 30, 2015
Light lunch to be served at noon.


If you are a member of the media, please RSVP by emailing


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