The pros and cons of U.S. education

“If these numbers are not that dismal … then policy can be more accurately focused and less reactionary,” said one reader.

As President Obama enters his second term, his education policies are sure to be in the spotlight again soon.

But are international tests, which help to influence education policies in the U.S., as accurate as we thought? And what, if anything, can we learn from other countries?

A report from the Economic Policy Institute suggests that well-respected international tests have misranked the achievement of U.S. students, meaning federal and state leaders have based their education policies on misleading data.…Read More

Report: International tests severely misrank U.S. students

Authors confused why PISA releases its first data sets on averages; say its misleading.
“What’s puzzling is why international tests like PISA release overall average scores first, then more nuanced data weeks or months later, since this promotes misleading analyses,” said a co-author of the report.

Prominent international tests skew comparisons of test scores, and U.S. student performance actually ranks much higher than believed, according to a new report released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The truth, says the report, is that—when comparing apples to apples in weighing U.S. student performance against that of other industrialized countries—U.S. students don’t rank 25th in math, but 10th; and in reading, the country is not 14th, but 4th.

The report, “What do international tests really show about U.S. student performance?,” is the first of its kind to detail what it claims is an inaccurate analysis of student performance on international tests such as the Program on International Student Assessment (PISA) and Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).…Read More