High-achieving schools in America are to be toured by the first minister and chief inspector of schools to see if any lessons can be learned in Scotland...
In the past, the first minister has visited a number of US schools in areas with high crime rates and social problems, which were using creative methods to address challenges.
However, this week he will tour schools at the top end of the spectrum in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC to see whether any practices could help improve Scotland's schools.
Mr McConnell, who will be accompanied by Graham Donaldson of HMIE, said Scotland already had one of the best education systems in the world.
However, he added: "I want to focus on high achieving schools that are stretching the brightest pupils in areas such as maths and science.
"I want to see if they are doing something that we can learn from."
It is sensible that he is accompanied by the chief inspector of schools but what will the First Minister actually contribute? Would he recognise the fact that an American school was doing something that we could learn from? And do you improve educational standards by making high-profile visits, rather than by studying educational methodology as recorded and tested by peer review in academic journals?