Archive for the 'Foreign Countries' Category

3rd 2013
Bad News for U.S. School Performance; How to Fix “Leaning Tower of PISA”?

Posted under Foreign Countries & Grades and Standards & Innovation and Reform & Research & Sciences

Today is PISA Day, and I’m not referring to pepperoni pies or unusual Italian landmarks. The 2012 results from the Program for International Student Assessment are in, and it doesn’t look pretty for the good old USA. At least not on the surface.

First, let’s take a quick trip back to September, when I brought your attention to the unsettling book Endangering Prosperity and pointed out that America needs to take a different path to improve unimpressive math test scores. That was when our nation’s 15-year-olds scored a sub-par 487 on the PISA: Continue Reading »

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21st 2013
Even This Post Might Be Too Much Attention on Common Core Debate

Posted under Foreign Countries & Grades and Standards & Private Schools & Research & School Accountability & School Choice & Teachers

The reason I rarely write about Common Core is the same reason why I’m writing about it today. Huh, you say? America’s fourth most influential Edu-Scholar Eric Hanushek makes a persuasive case in U.S. News:

Policymakers and reform advocates alike have rallied around introducing a set of national content standards, suggesting that this will jump-start the stagnating achievement of U.S. students. As history clearly indicates, simply calling for students to know more is not the same as ensuring they will learn more.

Bottom line (read the whole article): Common Core standards are not going to move the needle on the important content and skills U.S. students learn. For every Massachusetts that performs fairly well with high standards, there’s a California that has high standards but struggles tremendously in its educational results. Continue Reading »


13th 2013
International Student Learning Comparisons Remind Why Dougco Is Raising Bar

Posted under Denver & Foreign Countries & Grades and Standards & High School & Innovation and Reform & International & Parents & Public Charter Schools & Research & Suburban Schools

When I’m running a race, no matter how short my little legs may be, I don’t want to be left in the middle of the pack: I want to break the tape first… I want to WIN!! In America, including Colorado, we tend to think our suburban schools serving middle-class students are largely doing just fine. But that all depends on your perspective and your point of comparison.

It’s well past time to think beyond the school district next door or across the state. A group called America Achieves just released a report titled “Middle Class or Middle of the Pack” that ought to help wake up some people. Many of the chief excuses for America’s humdrum or weak showing on international tests just sort of melt away:

Many assume that poverty in America is pulling down the overall U.S. scores, but when you divide each nation into socio-economic quarters, you can see that even America’s middle class students are falling behind not only students of comparable advantage but also more disadvantaged students in several other countries.

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12th 2010
Is This What Waiting for Superman Would Look Like If Made in Taiwan?

Posted under Foreign Countries & Innovation and Reform & Just For Fun

It’s Friday. Time to lighten up with a 90-second summary of the new education reform movie Waiting for Superman produced by Taiwanese animators, a video you simply have to see to believe (H/T Jay Greene):

Michelle Rhee as a martial arts heroine with a “Reform” bandanna and a broom? My little heart is going pitter-patter….

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7th 2010
Rick Hess Went Down to Georgia…

Posted under Foreign Countries & School Choice

From time to time, it’s worthwhile to look outside the borders of our United States to glean some valuable lessons about school reform. Rick Hess — one of the more thoughtful education policy gurus out there — recently returned from a two-week trip to Georgia and shared his thoughts.

So some of you are thinking… Georgia? A different country? Maybe like 150 years ago or something.

Wrong Georgia. We’re talking halfway around the world, not just across the continent. Anyway, Hess notes the heavy emphasis on reform in the former Soviet republic in what he calls the “land of the libertarians”: Continue Reading »

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