The United States has long been in the middle of the pack among developed nations in K–12 education. In 2015, scores on America’s National Assessment of Education Progress—a nationwide report card of student achievement—fell nearly across the board for the first time in decades. And in 2016, U.S. high school math performance on an important international indicator, the OECD’s cross-country PISA exam, declined precipitously, to 39th place out of 70.
This poor performance has occurred despite, or perhaps because of, the growing federal role in public schools. Incoming President Trump has promised to restore—and respect—state and local control of education. To accomplish this turnaround, here are two steps that Congress and the new administration can take:
- Limit federal authority
- Encourage school choice
Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.