Sunday, September 25, 2016

Just One More Test

     I  don't know about your school, but it seems that kids are constantly being tested these days. It seem that teachers and administrators need to know exactly how students are doing and this maybe not be only for the state test. The test called T
he Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a huge, high stakes player in the education field internationally.


              Just what is PISA?   

   PISA shows 15-year-old students' reading, mathematics, and science literacy and compares the results to other students in 70 other countries (US Department of Education, National Department of Statistics, n.d.). 

  So, why is PISA a very big deal?

              Excellent PISA scores are important for many reasons. PISA makes a huge impact because low performances and rankings are very bad for the economy and national employment. 

                  Poor Economy

                  A study suggests that "...if the U.S. could boost its average PISA scores by 25 points over the next 20 years (a result achieved by Poland in six years, between 2000 and 2006), it could lead to a gain of $41 trillion for the U.S. economy over the lifetime of the generation born in 2010 (as evaluated at the start of reform in terms of real present value of future improvements in GDP)." (Paine & Schleicher, 2011). So, United States loses approximately 41 trillion dollars due to lack of student increases of 25 points on PISA assessments. Wow, just think! Forty-one trillion is currently higher than our US national debt.


                Low Employment


                High scores on this exam are connected to employment. PISA scores in mathematics, science and reading have very high correlations to jobs in many fields such as services, industry, research and development (Hyo-Jeong, Tan & Tay, 2012).  The US needs to do much better on this exam. In order to be competitive in a global setting, it is important to surpass other countries academically (Cheung & Chan, 2008)

Just how do US students compare to other students in other nations?

 Unfortunately, not that well. In 2012, US performed below average in math and is estimated to be around 27th among 34 countries with Shanghai, China scoring two years ahead of the highest US PISA performer state, Massachusetts (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2013).  Although US student rankings in reading and science are average, there had been no significant changes in math, reading and science performance over time (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2013). It is a huge problem in United States that students are not receiving the education necessary to score well in PISA testing when compared to students worldwide (Martens & Niemann, 2013, Meroni, Vera-Toscano, & Costa, 2015).   

What has the US done to improve achievement? 

Well, we have gone back in time to a more traditional method of teaching.  Yet, those teaching methods are failing US students.  In fact, in two decades, US schools have not advanced on the PISA exams even through major school restructurings (Martens & Niemann, 2013, Meroni, Vera-Toscano, & Costa, 2015).  Diane Ravitch,  the woman who developed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) educational reform, also had qualms about the status of our educational system. Ravitch stated that NCLB had ample time to show success, and has been totally unproductive (Ravitch in Chubb & Ravitch, 2009, p. 49). It is also becoming more evident that schools might not be using the best possible curriculum methods to achieve better student success as other international leaders in education (Snyder & Dillow, 2013). 

     What can we do now to  help our schools and our nation? 

It becomes increasingly important to US students, and our nation, to pursue other forms of teaching and learning.  In this series, we will discover, or meet again, other avenues of teaching that have been successful in schools, and are even beneficially used now in other countries.  
Please, join me each week for new and old exciting events about teaching and learning.'
Lynn @ TiePlay Educational Resources


Cheung, H. Y., & Chan, A. H. (2008). Understanding the relationships among PISA scores, economic growth and employment in different sectors. Research In Education, (80), 93-106.

Hyo-Jeong, S., Tan, E., Tay, J. (2012). Collaborative mobile learning in Situ from knowledge building perspectives. Asia-Pacific Education Researcher (De La Salle University Manila), 21(1), 51-62
National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). The nation's report card: A first look--2013 mathematics and reading. National Assessment of Educational Progress at Grade 4 and 8. NCES 2014-451. National Center for Education Statistics.

Meroni, E. C., Vera-Toscano, E., & Costa, P. (2015). Can low skill teachers make good students? Empirical evidence from PIAAC and PISA. Journal of Policy Modeling, 37308-323. doi:10.1016/j.jpolmod.2015.02.006

Martens K., & Niemann, D. (2013). When do numbers count? The differential impact of the PISA rating and ranking on education policy in Germany and the US. German Politics, 22:3, 314-332, DOI: 10.1080/09644008.2013.794455

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2013). PISA 2012 results US key findings. OECD Publishing.

Paine, S. L. & Schleicher, A. (2011). What the U.S. can learn from the world’s most successful educational reform efforts.

Ravitch, D., & Chubb, J. E. (2009). The future of no child left behind. Education Next9(3), 48-56.

 Snyder, T. D., Dillow, S. A., National Center for Education Statistics, (., & American Institutes for, R. (2015). Digest of Education Statistics 2013. NCES 2015-011. National Center for Education Statistics

US Department of Education, National Department of Statistics. (2002). Overview. Retrieved from

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