Earlier this month, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) released the results of the 2009 PISA assessment. Every three years, PISA assesses the reading, mathematics and science literacy of 15-year-old students in 65 countries and education systems around the world. PISA seeks to answer the question that many educators grapple with daily, “How well can students…apply their knowledge to real-life situations?”
Though our average science score is up from 2006, U.S. performance on the PISA has been largely stagnant in reading and math. Currently, the United States ranks 17th among all participating countries and education systems in reading scores, with Shanghai, Korea, Finland, Hong Kong, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Australia among the top performing. There has not been a change in the average reading scores of American students since 2000.
Though the U.S. spends more per student than almost every other OECD nation, we do less to target spending on low-income schools and students. There are other major differences between the U.S. and the highest performing systems as well, especially when it comes to teacher recruitment, compensation, evaluation and professional development. We want to hear what educators and students think about these findings:
How much emphasis should we place on these results? How might they help shape reform efforts in the U.S.?
~Antero, Edit, Jemal, Jeff, Katie, Laurie, Leah, Linda, Lisa, Nick, Pam, Patrick, Tracey, Stephanie and Steve
Teaching Ambassador Fellows
To read Secretary Duncan’s speech in response to the PISA results, visit: http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/secretary-arne-duncans-remarks-oecds-release-program-international-student-assessment-