There is a growing consensus America's future prosperity is threatened by an erosion in our educational capabilities. Compared to children in other countries, our nation's students are underperforming, especially in the vitally important fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Rising powers, especially China and India, are bolstering their investment in education to attract the high-paying jobs of the future. America must rise to the challenge. We need to upgrade our country's education system by enhancing flexibility, innovation, and accountability. Federal policies should reward schools and teachers that apply effective learning techniques, especially in the vitally important fields of math and science. Our global competitiveness and technological advancement depend on it.