Paul Vallas, distinguished scholar and noted education reformer identifies the main challenges facing U.S. education in the 21st century. He notes that US performance on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) ranks American 15 year olds as 17th in science and 25th in mathematics. Vallas and others stress that American schools have not declined. Rather it is a case of technology, a changing job market, and rising international competition demanding much more of America’s educational system. Attracting and retaining top teachers is vitally important, but Vallas stresses that one cannot neglect early childhood education, school improvement-focused state and district governance, and a 21st century curriculum.