Addressing the Performance Gap: Transforming United States Education for Global Competitiveness

Gratzia Villarroel, Ph.D. , Director of International Studies, St. Norbert College

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) emerged in the late 1990s when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) identified a need for an international assessment beyond traditional performance measures. The first PISA assessment took place in 2000 and included 32 countries, which has risen to 80 in recent test evaluations. The test occurs every three years, and improvements are made each time to address different needs. To read the complete article click PISA Study.

Growing and Retaining a Workforce

Jim Golembeski, Envision Board member and Upward Mobility Signals Team

It takes 18 years to grow a worker.

That makes workforce forecasting one of the easiest things that Envision can do in our efforts to identify trends and challenges.  It is easy to gather live birth data for our region on an annual basis and extrapolate out into the future.

We know the numbers of each age group, year by year, in NEW North.  I have been speaking about these numbers for more than twenty years. The writing, as in the book of Daniel, has been on the wall: too many Baby Boomers retiring and not enough replacement workers coming into our workforce.


“Hollowing Out The State”

Heidi Selberg, Envision Board Member and Upward Mobility Signals Team

Our team’s previous reports have shown the importance of public policy in supporting upward mobility.  Judy Nagel’s reports have outlined international comparisons, demonstrating that several government policies related to childcare, health, and other matters are critical to those countries’ higher rates of upward mobility. But what if upward mobility in the U.S. is not accelerating because our institutions are becoming weaker?