Yong Zhao on the latest PISA results:
The East Asian education systems may have a lot to offer to those who want a compliant and homogenous test takers. For those who are looking for true high quality education, Finland would still be a better place. But for an education that can truly cultivate creative, entrepreneurial and globally competent citizens needed in the 21st century, you will have to invent it. Global benchmarking can only give you the best of the past. For the best of the future, you will have do the invention yourself.
Unfortunately, the reactions to our middlin’ at best PISA results here in the U.S. is all about getting “better” instead of thinking differently. Not saying there aren’t some valuable things that PISA measures. But, a) those things don’t necessarily have to be measured by a test that then ranks everyone in the world and makes education a contact sport, and b) PISA doesn’t measure a whole boatload of stuff that might be more important than what’s on the test.
So it’s not just about inventing it. It’s about rethinking it, recontextualizing it, and then designing a different path. A messier path. A path that few of us will feel comfortable with at first, but one that will serve our kids better than the one they’re sticking to in Florida:
Joe Follick, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Education, responded by focusing on the benefits of taking such snapshots of student achievement. “By continuing to measure our performance, our students will meet the challenges necessary to succeed in college and career,” he said.