We had the awesome opportunity to hear Amanda Ripley, author of the fascinating Smartest Kids in the World. Ripley spent a year studying the highest performing school systems in the world, and following three American exchange students, studying in Poland, South Korea and Finland, as they attended public schools in some of the highest performing countries in the world. Her take-aways are profound, and the way she banters is witty and engaging. Most important, however, are the implications of this work. Each country has seen drastic improvements in their education systems over remarkably small periods of time. Ripley is careful not to demonize the American education system, however, she acknowledges that the American education has remained "average," while other countries have progressed. Listen to her speak about her book here.