Dec 12, 2016 09:06 PM EST
What America Should Learn From Smart Schools Of Other Countries [Video]
The PISA test is administered once every 3 years to half a million students from 69 different countries. The 2-hour test is designed to test students' skills and their ability to think.
According to a New York Times report, the results of this year's exams show that teenage students aren't doing well in mathematics like they used to and their performance in science and English hit a plateau. Overall, American student's performance is nothing extraordinary and is 'below' average' for a developed country.
Over the years, Andreas Schleicher and his team at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have analyzed PISA's results and have developed a model that can predict the outcome with 85 percent variation.
This year, Schleicher and his team predicted that the U.S. will have modest improvements, Colombia will have better results and Singapore will more than likely crush every other participating country.
In the end, the U.S. did not raise its average scores but there was improvement in terms of equity.
The most important takeaway, however, is that the smartest countries don't necessarily spend to spend that much on education. Instead, they focus in directing their resources to improve the quality of education. These countries are dedicated to make teaching more selective, giving access to education to the neediest children, developed their preschool systems, instill a culture of improvement and implemented a rigorous standard across all classrooms.
Of all these, the U.S. only implemented one and the implementation has been very selective. The Common Core Standards have recently been adopted but not all states subscribes to it. Adopting the Common Core Standards have sparked debates across different states in the U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump and his Education Secretary nominee, Betsy DaVos have spoken against the Common Core and some supporters are actually worried that the incoming administration would work to discard or repeal its implementation.
Schleicher is confident that the Common Core Standards will be beneficial for American students in the long run, still in its infancy though, he doesn't expect any drastic changes to happen soon.
However, Schleicher believes that if Mr. Trump is going to make America great again, he shouldn't set aside fixing the school system.
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