The link between early childhood education and PISA scores

Buried under the  headlines of the last week  about the newly released Program for International Student Assessment results — which showed American 15-year-old students nowhere near the top on the 2012 math, reading and science tests, is an interesting bit of data, the Washington Post reports. It’s the connection between early childhood education and the top-performing PISA nations. PISA is given by an organization called the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is made up of 34 countries, including the United States, China, Germany and Japan. In the majority of OECD countries, more than three quarters (79%) of 4-year olds are enrolled in early childhood education programs. And according tothe report on 2012 PISA scores released last week, across OECD countries, students who attended early childhood programs performed better—a full year ahead of their peers…

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PISA results yield 4 key actions for U.S. education

“Stagnant” U.S. PISA performance is a call to action, experts say

US-PISAU.S. students lagged behind their international counterparts in reading, math, and science, and students’ performance remained flat as other countries’ students improved, according to much-anticipated data from the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

The PISA is an international study launched in 1997 that assesses 15-year-olds in reading, math, and science every three years in an effort to evaluate worldwide education systems.

This year, test results focused on math in particular. According to key findings, the U.S. ranked 26th out of the 34 OECD countries. While math performance was below average, science and reading performance stayed close to average, with the U.S. ranking 17th in reading and 21st in science.…Read More

How PISA results will impact U.S. schools

International PISA test results can help guide U.S. schools, experts say

PISA-rankingsMuch debate has focused on the role of international rankings and assessments in U.S. education. Experts say U.S. education leaders can use data about top performing countries to inform U.S. education practice.

One such test is the PISA, an international study launched in 1997 that assesses 15-year-olds in reading, math, and science every three years in an effort to evaluate worldwide education systems. PISA results will be made public on International PISA Day, which takes place on Dec. 3.

The test reveals the “importance of deeper learning skills such as critical thinking and problem solving,” said Robert Rothman, a senior fellow with the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) during a PISA preview webinar on Nov. 21.…Read More

The top 10 ed-tech stories of 2010: No. 9

President Obama launched several new initiatives in 2010 aimed at improving STEM education.

Results from the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, released in late 2010, showed the United States continuing to fare in the middle of the pack in terms of math and science achievement; U.S. students ranked 25th out of 65 industrialized countries in average math scores on the exam, and 17th in science.

But even before the new PISA figures came out, federal officials had ramped up their efforts to boost science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

Building on the “Educate to Innovate” initiative he launched in November 2009, President Obama on Jan. 6 announced the creation of several new partnerships to help attract, develop, reward, and retain outstanding STEM teachers. Later in the year, he announced a grant program that challenged students to design their own video games, and he set a goal of recruiting 10,000 new STEM teachers in the next two years. The White House also hosted its first-ever science fair in October to showcase the work of exemplary students.…Read More

What U.S. schools can learn from abroad

Experts say PISA results are a good indicator of future economic success.

U.S. students once again placed near the middle of the pack in the latest international comparisons in reading, math, and science—and the program’s organizers have issued a list of key characteristics that top-performing nations share.

These keys to success include training, respecting, paying, and empowering their teachers more fully; emphasizing preschool education; pairing successful schools with struggling ones; and personalizing the learning process for students.

With the release of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results last week, the U.S. has again ranked average in reading, math, and science when compared with other industrialized nations. Some U.S. observers say they’re encouraged by the nation’s gains in science, but in the global economic footrace that continues to boast increasingly faster runners, is optimism enough to win?…Read More