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Many people agree that there are problems with our education system. The big question is - what do we do about it? It's the question we're asking in our series "Improving Utah Schools." We'll look at the world of ideas for creating better education for our kids and ask what can be done to make those ideas a reality.Image by Derek Baird/Creative Commons via flickr

The Smartest Kids in the World

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Image by Thomas W via Flickr, http://bit.ly/1bhNlyO
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A new survey ranked American schools 26th in math skills among 34 developed countries. That's below average, and we just managed average in science and reading. Over the last fifty years, US scores have stagnated, while schools in Europe and Asia have made big strides.  So what are they doing that we aren't? Journalist Amanda Ripley wanted to answer that question, so she followed three American students for a year abroad. She joins Doug to explain why she says we should be asking more of our kids. 

Amanda Ripley is a journalist who has written for Time magazine and The Atlantic. Her new book is called The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way. [ Indiebound | Amazon ]

For more information on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), click here. Try your hand at sample questions here.

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.