According to the Program for International Student Assessment, K-12 students in the United States continue to track flat on academic achievement tests while other countries—most notably Singapore, Finland and Canada—post modest gains year after year. The net result is that the U.S. is experiencing a slow but steady slip in the ranks of the world’s best-educated school-age populations, which does not bode well for American competitiveness on the global stage in the years to come.
According to Steve Turckes, Principal and K-12 Education Global Market Leader at Perkins + Will in Chicago, this troublesome trend is all the talk among educators and school administrators, and is heavily influencing how and what—and by association where—we teach our children. The school of tomorrow will be focused on preparing our youth to hold their own in a highly competitive, global workforce, while giving them the knowledge and critical thinking skills to be well-informed members of society. “There is an interesting dialogue going on about what it’s going to take to get there,” says Turckes.