Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States
US President Obama has launched one of the world’s most ambitious education reform agendas. Under the heading “Race to the Top”, this agenda encourages US states to adopt internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace: recruit, develop, reward, and retain effective teachers and principals; build data systems that measure student success; and inform teachers and principals how they can improve their practices and turn around their lowest-performing schools.
But what does the “top” look like internationally? How have the countries at the top managed to achieve sustained high performance or to significantly improve their performance? The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) provides the world’s most extensive and rigorous set of international surveys assessing the knowledge and skills of secondary school students. This volume combines an analysis of PISA with a description of the policies and practices of those education systems that are close to the top or advancing rapidly, in order to offer insights for policy from their reform trajectories.
Table of contents
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Viewing Education in the United States Through the Prism of PISA
Chapter 3 Ontario, Canada: Reform to Support High Achievement in a Diverse Context
Chapter 4 Shanghai and Hong Kong: Two Distinct Examples of Education Reform in China
Chapter 5 Finland: Slow and Steady Reform for Consistently High Results
Chapter 6 Japan: A story of Sustained Excellence
Chapter 7 Singapore: Rapid Improvement Followed by Strong Performance
Chapter 8 Brazil: Encouraging Lessons from a Large Federal System
Chapter 9 Germany: Once Weak International Standing Prompts Strong Nationwide Reforms for Rapid Improvement
Chapter 10 Vignettes on education reforms: England and Poland
Chapter 11 Lessons for the United States
In the Spring of 2010, Secretary Duncan asked the Secretary-General of the OECD to create a report for the United States on the strategies used by the countries with the most successful education systems. The OECD then asked NCEE to produce that report for them under their supervision. That report was released in December of that year under the name Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education. In November of the following year, Harvard Education Press released a book-length version of the report that NCEE titled Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World’s Leading Systems.more » « less