What the Latest Standardized School Tests Tell Us

Strong education systems contribute to strong economies. Every three years the Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA, tests the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students in math, reading and science. More than 80 countries have participated, and many obsess about rankings. Comparisons based on raw scores can be tricky, warns Karin Klein for the Los Angeles Times. Researchers suggest that test results also reflect inequality and cultural attitudes on education. For example, parents in many Asian nations invest in private tutoring and scores may not reflect the quality of schools. The bottom line is that families must view education as an opportunity, political leaders must prepare youth for global competition and adult challenges, and workers and their employers must embrace lifelong learning. “If there is a lesson to be gleaned from PISA, it's that moving toward a more educated nation will require helping families give their children the resources and background they need to do better in school, as well as continuing reform efforts to improve instruction and curriculum,” Klein notes. She concludes that requires committed action over time. – YaleGlobal

What the Latest Standardized School Tests Tell Us

PISA test results give schools and societies an opportunity to assess their methods for preparing the young for adult life and global competition
Karin Klein
Friday, December 9, 2016

Read the essay.

Read more about the PISA test from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development.

Top Ranked Nations for PISA issued in 2015:

Science: Singapore, Hong Kong and Macao

Reading; Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada

Science: Singapore, Japan and Estonia

Karin Klein is a former editorial writer who covered education, environment, food and science. She was the 2006-07 winner of the Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship for Editorial Writers and a 2012 Logan Environmental Journalism fellow.

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