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A New York Times bestselling author spoke in Knoxville Wednesday and offered tips on how to improve the education system.

Amanda Ripley wrote the bestselling book, "The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way." The book compares the U.S. education system to some of the top-performing countries like Finland, South Korea, and Poland.

Ripley said the biggest difference is schools overseas challenge students more. She says that pushes students to be more successful.

She also says those are trends that can carry over here.

"If Poland can do it, so can Pennsylvania. If Finland can do it, so can Tennessee. There's no reason why we can not do what these countries have done. In fact I didn't see anything anywhere that I didn't think we couldn't do as well or better," said Ripley.

Ripley's work has been cited in several academic journals.

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