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The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know
Current stories on international achievement tests, US position compared globally, & nations at the top of the education mountain
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How Does PISA Put the World at Risk (Part 4): Misleading the World

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk (Part 4): Misleading the World | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Yong Zhao, Zhao Learning

 

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.

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OECD: Poverty Explains 46% of PISA Scores

OECD: Poverty Explains 46% of PISA Scores | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Paul B. Ash, Education Week

 

...international exams may measure student knowledge and skills on an international basis, but they were not designed to measure the factors that contributed to student success within a nation.

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The brainy questions on Finland’s only high-stakes standardized test

The brainy questions on Finland’s only high-stakes standardized test | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Pasi Sahlberg, Washington Post

 

Now here's a really serious college readiness exam.

 

Many Americans who visit Finland to examine its education system are surprised by how rarely students are required to take standardized tests during their 12 years of schooling.

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U.S. teachers 6th highest paid in the world

U.S. teachers 6th highest paid in the world | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Jill Barshay, Hechinger Report

 

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 …

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Déjà vu: Too Late to Learn from China

Déjà vu: Too Late to Learn from China | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Yong Zhao, Zhao Learning


"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."

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American High Schools Are a Disaster.

American High Schools Are a Disaster. | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Laurence Steinberg, Slate

 

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...

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This is quite interesting, better than the title would suggest.

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Singapore’s secrets to training world-class teachers

Singapore’s secrets to training world-class teachers | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Sarah Butrymowicz, Hechinger Report

 

Singapore has been a hot topic in education circles ever since it began to appear near the top of the pack of international assessments in math and science in the mid-90s.

 

Teaching is a sought-after profession in Singapore...It is guaranteed an abundance of good candidates because becoming a teacher is highly prestigious.

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Matt Damon: ‘People get tired of hearing about Finland, but they do it better than anyone.."

Matt Damon:  ‘People get tired of hearing about Finland, but they do it better than anyone.." | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

 

The actor and activist has a conversation on Reddit.

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Teaching Mathematics - The Economist

Teaching Mathematics - The Economist | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it
Teaching mathematics The Economist Andreas Schleicher, the statistician in charge of the PISA studies, agrees that many of the algorithms—rote procedures for solving familiar problems—that children have traditionally spent years mastering are now...
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3 Ways to Improve U.S. Students' Standing Worldwide

3 Ways to Improve U.S. Students' Standing Worldwide | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Matthew Lynch, Huff Post

 

When it comes to American K-12 student achievement, it is not enough to be a big fish in a little pond. To really make a splash and gain international footing, a few things need to change in U.S. K-12 education. Here are just a few:

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Within A Global Crisis In Education, Some Hints Of Progress

Within A Global Crisis In Education, Some Hints Of Progress | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Peter Goodman, Huffington Post


Even the man who coordinates PISA, Andreas Schleicher, cautions that the numbers can be taken too far.

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Have you heard of Andreas Schleicher? He's in charge of the global PISA Test, and He's Got Data

How can we measure what makes a school system work? Andreas Schleicher walks us through the PISA test, a global measurement that ranks countries against one another -- then uses that same data to help schools improve.
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Arne Duncan: Why can’t we be more like South Korea?

Arne Duncan: Why can’t we be more like South Korea? | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

 

The education secretary laments that American parents aren't as serious as South Koreans when it comes to education.

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Kids in these countries are terrified of math class

Kids in these countries are terrified of math class | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Matt Phillips, Quartz

 

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...

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How did US students perform on a new international test of problem-solving skills?

How did US students perform on a new international test of problem-solving skills? | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Motoko Rich, New York Times

 

Countries including Japan, Canada and Britain all outperformed the United States in exams that tested the practical thinking skills of 15-year-olds.

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First time for the test, administered as part of PISA

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Finnish Education Chief: 'We Created a School System Based on Equality'

Finnish Education Chief: 'We Created a School System Based on Equality' | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Christine Gross-Loh, The Atlantic

 

An interview with the country's minister of education, Krista Kiuru

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How Does PISA Put the World at Risk (Part 1): Romanticizing Misery

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk (Part 1): Romanticizing Misery | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Yong Zhao, Zhao Learning


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.

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A Deeper Look at PISA Results

A Deeper Look at PISA Results | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Robert Rothman, Education Week

 

A deeper look at PISA results shows which countries enable students to analyze, synthesize, and solve complex problems.

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What Americans Don't Know About Science

What Americans Don't Know About Science | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Eleanor Barkhorn, The Atlantic

 

On a recent survey, just 74 percent of Americans said that the Earth revolves around the sun.

 

 "many Americans provide multiple incorrect answers to basic questions about scientific facts." Then again, "residents of other countries, including highly developed ones, appear to perform no better." 

 

Every two years, the National Science Foundation releases a report on the state of science in the U.S. and around the world.

Parent Cortical Mass's insight:

Fascinating!

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Don’t go overboard praising China’s schools

Don’t go overboard praising China’s schools | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Jay Mathews, Washington Post

 

The experts who tell us to learn from China often ignore its pervasive and depressing testing system.

 

"I ignore those who say we will someday be at war with China. I have spent most of my life studying that country. Its culture and history are much less warlike than ours. Happily, like us, the Chinese love making money. Our battle to sell more stuff to each other will inevitably help both economies. Our concern about their educational superiority is another matter." 

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Compare the Test Results Of The World's Richest Students. It's Surprising.

Compare the Test Results Of The World's Richest Students. It's Surprising. | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Joy Resmovits, Huffington Post

 

"At the top of the distribution, our performance is surprisingly bad given our top decile is among the wealthiest in the world," said Morgan Polikoff, a professor at the University of Southern California's School of Education who reviewed the data.

 

The WorldPost has gotten the first look at the math scores of students at every socioeconomic decile from the 65 countries that participate in the Programme for International Student Assessment. What they reveal about the correlation between wealth a...

Parent Cortical Mass's insight:

good graphs

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PISA: A Clarion Bell for American Education?

PISA: A Clarion Bell for American Education? | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by the American Association of Coleges for Teacher Education, Learning First Alliance

 

Researchers often question the reliability and validity of using PISA to compare the United States with countries that have different proportions of disadvantaged students and investments in education. Yet top-performing PISA countries have numerous factors in common. High-scoring countries usually have universal PK-12 standards, tend to distribute educational resources more equitably, invest more in early childhood education, don’t use students’ test scores to evaluate teachers, make significant investments in teachers’ training and compensation, and have more school autonomy.

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The Global Search for Education - What Poland Did

The Global Search for Education - What Poland Did | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by C.M. Rubin, Huffington Post

 

What were the education reforms that enabled the improvement of Polish students' 2012 PISA test results from far below the OECD average to the European top? What were the education goals of this country with large socio-economic disparities? What is being done to achieve them? What are Poland's next steps to build on PISA successes to date?

 
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Take a breath before calling Chinese schools the best

Take a breath before calling Chinese schools the best | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by Jay Mathews, Washington Post

 

Tom Loveless, a leading expert on international testing, throws cold water on high Shanghai scores.

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The Global Search for Education: The World Test?

The Global Search for Education: The World Test? | The Global Achievement Gap: What Parents Need to Know | Scoop.it

by C. M. Rubin, Huffington Post

 

I have asked Pak Tee Ng, Tony Wagner and Randi Weingarten to share their perspectives on the PISA.

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