CHARLESTON, W.V. - The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has launched an important new effort to study lessons about education from high-performing countries and share findings with state legislators. The effort is entitled, “What States Can Learn about Education Reform from High Performing Countries.”
NCSL has appointed a bipartisan group of 26 legislators and 5 legislative staff who have expertise, experience and interest in this topic. West Virginia State Senator Robert H. Plymale was among the 26 legislators appointed to the group and one of the 11 member delegation that will be traveling to China in November to observe school systems.
For several years, NCSL has worked with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries to host a study tour in China for state legislators. Shanghai is the top education performer in the world, according to OECD data. This year’s tour (November 15-22) will include several members of the NCSL International Study Group and focus on education. The 11 member delegation will visit Shanghai and Beijing to visit schools, talk with students and teachers, and meet with educators and Chinese leaders to discuss the policies, framework, and culture that contribute to Shanghai’s strong education performance.
The final products of the Study Group will be a set of findings for state legislators to consider about the most important lessons for the states from other countries. The final report will be written by the members of the Study Group specifically for a state legislative audience. It will explore questions such as:
Senator Plymale has been the Chair of the West Virginia Senate Education Committee since 2002. He has been involved with NCSL since 2004 when he was appointed to the (NCSL) National Task Force on “No Child Left Behind”. Since then, he has served NCSL as Chair of the Education Committee, Co-Chair of the Federal Education Policy Task Force, Vice Chair of General Officers and as an Early Learning Fellow. In addition, he has served on the National Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education, as a member of the Executive Committee and member of the Transportation Committee for NCSL.