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2015 PISA results

11 December 2016

A few quick links to different takes on the most recently released Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results.

Hechinger Report: “higher performing nations [than the United States] structure their math curriculum differently, teaching fewer topics, but in greater depth”

Asia Society: “Commenting on the United States’ performance in particular, [Andreas] Schleicher [, Director for Education and Skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),] noted that, while American student scores were relatively stagnant with previous assessments, they had improved significantly on equity”

The Atlantic: “Attendance matters. On average, 37 percent of U.S. test-takers on PISA said they had skipped at least one day of school in the two weeks prior to the exam. That’s nearly double the OECD average of 20 percent. On the science assessment, for example, U.S. students who reported skipping scored 29 points lower than their non-absent peers. The OECD average score drop was even more dramatic: a 33-point decline after adjusting for student and school socioeconomic factors—the equivalent of almost an entire year’s worth of classroom learning.”

The Economist: “Another potential waste of money, if only from the perspective of PISA results, may be sending children to private school. Across the OECD pupils in public schools score lower in science than students in private schools do. But this is not the case once you account for the economic and social background of pupils.”

American Enterprise Institute: “Let me be clear: I’m not saying that a given set of test results prove that Obama’s educational efforts have been misguided. I am saying that the Obama administration has been disingenuous when it has tried to use convenient data points to make its case. The reality is that these kinds of national results are so far removed from the regulatory minutiae of federal education policy, and that meaning of these test results can be so opaque, that everyone would be well-served if they spent less time claiming this or that test result or graduation rate proved that a grand federal agenda was the right one.”

WBUR (Boston public radio station): “In the 2015 test results, released Tuesday, Massachusetts made the top 20 in math and the top 10 in science; in reading, it was statistically tied for first place. Those results have led at least one observer to suggest that Massachusetts is the new Finland – the place to go if you want to see education that works. It’s a lovely idea. But if you dig down a bit, the picture gets a lot more complicated.”


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