Marc Tucker

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Marc S. Tucker (born 1939) is the president and CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy. He is active in education reform and benchmarking the policies and practices of the countries with the best education systems in the world.

Tucker published a report on international education benchmarking entitled Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An American Agenda for Education Reform. His book, Surpassing Shanghai, was published by Harvard Education Press in November 2011. According to the publisher, Surpassing Shanghai aims to answer a simple question: How would one redesign the American education system if the aim was to take advantage of everything that has been learned by countries with the world’s best education systems?[1] Jay Greene has argued, however, that the "best practice" methodology is flawed and is likely to lead to poor policies.[2]

Tucker was influential in creating the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce[3], the New Standards Consortium[4], the National Skills Standards Board, America’s Choice[5] (a school reform program), the National Institute for School Leadership[6](a school leadership training organization) and Board Examination Systems Program. Tucker has testified to the U.S. Congress and state legislatures.

He previously served as executive director at Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy; president at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; associate director at the National Institute of Education, U.S. Department of Education; and a professor of education at the University of Rochester.[citation needed]

Tucker was born in Newton, Massachusetts.[citation needed] He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy and American literature from Brown University in 1961.[citation needed] He subsequently studied theater engineering and technical theater production at the Yale University School of Drama, and then went on to a master of special studies with a concentration in telecommunications policy at George Washington University, graduating in 1982.[citation needed]


  • Tough Choices or Tough Times: The Report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, published in 2006, Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0787995980.
  • with Judy Codding, The Principal Challenge: Leading and Managing Schools in an Era of Accountability, published in 2002, Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0787964474
  • America’s Choice: high skills or low wages!, published in 1990, National Center on Education and the Economy. ISBN 978-0962706301.
  • with Ray Marshall, Thinking for a Living: Education and the Wealth of Nations, published in 1993, Basic Books. ISBN 978-0465085576.
  • A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century, published in 1986, Carnegie Forum on Education. ISBN 978-0961668501.
  • with Judy Codding, Standards for Our Schools: How to Set Them, Measure Them, and Reach Them, published in 2002, Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0787964283.