PARRAMATTA, Australia — Students in polos and plaids streamed into the auditorium at the University of Western Sydney as Lorde’s “Royals” blasted on repeat. While she sang about having “no post code envy,” hundreds of low-income high school seniors and students who would be the first in their families to go to college took their …
If reading Piketty reminds us of the troubling inequalities of wealth, the recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on adult skills in rich countries provides an equally grim picture of the inequalities of knowledge — one that for the United States is terrifying.
When five-year-old Xiao Ge starts primary school in Guangzhou next year, she won’t endure strict discipline and mountains of homework. Unlike the school life of most children in China, her days will be filled with art, music and creative learning at a private Waldorf school.
We know from international data—PISA, TIMSS, and so on—that other countries produce more “high achievers” than we do (at least in relation to the size of their pupil populations). And it’s no secret that in the U.S., academic achievement tends to correlate with socioeconomic status, hence producing far too few high achievers within the low-income population. But is this a uniquely American problem? How do we compare to other countries?
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that PISA is a secrete plan of Western powers to derail China’s education reforms. China has been working hard to introduce significant reforms since the 1990s to overcome the apparent shortcomings of its education system in order to cultivate a more diverse, creative, and entrepreneur citizenry.
Parent Cortical Mass's insight:
If you wonder, just how important to America's future that we raise our students global test scores, then you should know about Yong Zhao.
He's a professor at U of Oregon. He's smart. And his ideas on this topic goes the opposite direction from mainstream.
In my travels throughout Korea, in virtually every meeting I heard a variation of the same theme. “Why does President Obama think that Korean schools are good?”
Students... tend to excel because their parents spend huge sums to send them to hagwons after self-studying, in which students do their “real” learning, teachers, parents, and school leaders told me again and again. The educational experience is far from efficient.
From the start, the entire PISA enterprise has been designed to capitalize on the intense nationalistic concern for global competitiveness by inducing strong emotional responses from the unsuspecting public, gullible politicians, and sensation-seeking media. Virtually all PISA products, particularly its signature product—the league tables, are intended to show winners and losers, in not only educational policies and practices of the past, but more important, in capacity for global competition in the future. While this approach has made PISA an extremely successful global enterprise, it has misled the world down a path of self-destruction, resulting in irrational policies and practices that are more likely to squander precious resources and opportunities than enhancing capacity for future prosperity.
I tend to think of US teachers being relatively poorly compensated in our society, especially when compared to say, private equity fund managers. And I always thought that many developed nations paid their teachers far more than we do in the United States. So I was surprised to see that U.S. public school teachers are …
"Unless we want obedient, compliant, and homogenous workers, the world has to invent new models of education to deliberately cultivate innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs needed in the future instead of looking for answers from China."
Every once in a while, education policy squeezes its way onto President Obama’s public agenda, as it did in during last month’s State of the Union address. Lately, two issues have grabbed his (and just about everyone else’s) attention: early-childhood education and access to college. But while these scholastic bookends...
Parent Cortical Mass's insight:
This is quite interesting, better than the title would suggest.
As educators and policymakers continue to debate the value of the new Common Core assessments and other mandatory assessments, a small but growing number of schools and districts are signing up to participate in a new and different kind of test: the OECD Test for Schools, a voluntary assessment designed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to gauge the thinking skills and attitudes of 15-year olds
In this letter to Dr Andreas Schleicher, director of the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment, academics from around the world express deep concern about the impact of Pisa tests and call for a halt to the next round of testing
SINGAPORE—Forty students in bright yellow shirts hunched over their computers in Singapore’s Crescent Girls School as they raced against their teacher’s digital stopwatch. They had just a few minutes to add their thoughts about a short film on discrimination into a shared Google Doc and browse the opinions of their classmates. When the time was …
We've all heard the dire pronouncements: U.S. science and technology is losing ground to its global competitors because of a nationwide shortage of scientists and engineers, due primarily to the many failures of K-12 education. But are these gloomy assertions accurate?
Why are China's high schools performing better than those of any other country? Jiang Xueqin, a Yale graduate who has advised on education reforms in Shenzhen, talks about the future of education in China.
Here’s a modest test result to bolster the argument of those who say the American educational system isn’t so terrible. On a new creative problem-solving test taken by students in 44 countries and regions, U.S. 15-year-olds scored above the international average and rank at number 18 in the world. That’s much better than the below-average performance of U.S. students on the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) reading and math tests conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Tunisia, Argentina, Brazil and Thailand are home to some of the world's most math-phobic 15-year-olds. Levels of "mathematics anxiety" in those countries were the highest among the nations tracked by the OECD as part of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests that the organization coordinates. The chart below shows Tunisian teenagers are most...
PISA, the OECD’s triennial international assessment of 15 year olds in math, reading, and science, has become one of the most destructive forces in education today. It creates illusory models of excellence, romanticizes misery, glorifies educational authoritarianism, and most serious, directs the world’s attention to the past instead of pointing to the future. In the coming weeks, I will publish five blog posts detailing each of my “charges,” adapted from parts of my book Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education.
Parent Cortical Mass's insight:
Yong Zhao has a unique, and scholarly, opinion, about international tests. Good to hear his arguments to be informed on the different sides of the issues.