Morning Edition 9/20/13: 'THE SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD'

Amanda Ripley, journalist and writer for the Times, has written her latest book about education, but this one is based on a different way of looking at things. Ripley knew through her research that there were countries where education was important and the students 'got it'.  She also knew that there were others where nobody seemed to get it. And, right in the middle of all of them was the United States.

Ripley also realized that some of the countries where education was so successful now, were the same countries where it wasn't successful before; and where education had been successful before, it wasn't now.

So she decided to work with three different countries and three students who were willing to study abroad for a year and compare education in Finland, Poland and South Korea to the educations they had received in their home towns.

It was an experiment that was worth doing and it told a lot about how parents, teachers and students working together are the key to making any educational system work.