China tops PISA results in education

December 7th, 2010 by Brian Leave a reply »

This summer I attended the Sustainable Leadership conference through the AZ K-12 Center. One of the issues brought up briefly was the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) test/survey that 15 year-olds around the world take to determine which nation has the most effective schools.

For the longest time, students from Finland and Korea were the top scorers, the United States ranking in the middle.

This year, kids from Shanghai took the test for the first time and blew away the competition. Time magazine reports that Chinese classrooms have more students, but teachers make more money than in the United States and there is a huge emphasis on problem-solving skills. The world’s changing so quickly that rote memorization won’t suffice – by the time you memorize the facts, technology/politics/the world will have morphed already. Even if it didn’t influence the test, students still need the ability to think critically. Rigor, right?


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