Education scholars have already critiqued PISA as a valid global measure of education quality — but analysts also are skeptical about the selective participation of Chinese students from wealthier schools.
hostility in U.S.-China relations could dampen the appeal of a U.S. education. Britain, in fact, recorded a 30 percent surge in Chinese applicants in 2019, challenging the U.S. global dominance in higher education.
Immigrant students, who made up 23 percent of all U.S. students taking PISA, performed significantly better compared to their native-born peers in the United States than they did on average throughout the OECD countries.
The survey found that 15-year-old students from Beijing, Shanghai, and the eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang ranked top for all three core subjects, achieving the highest level 4 rating.
Students from the United States were ranked level 3 for reading and science, and level 2 for math, while teens from Britain scored a level 3 ranking in all three categories.
Looking for Post-PISA Answers? Here’s What Our Obsession With Test Scores Overlooks
By Tony Wan Dec 3, 2019
Andreas Schelicher, director of education and skills at the OECD—the Paris-based organization behind PISA wrote that “students who disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement ‘Your intelligence is something about you that you can’t change very much’ scored 32 points higher in reading than students who agreed or strongly agreed.”
Those results are similar to recent findings published by Carol Dweck, a Stanford education professor who is often credited with making growth mindset a mainstream concept.
“Growth mindset is a very important thing that makes us active learners, and makes us invest in our personal education,” Schleicher states. “If learning isn’t based on effort and intelligence is predetermined, why would anyone bother?”
It’s “absolutely fascinating” to see the relationship between teachers’ enthusiasm, students’ social-emotional wellbeing and their learning outcomes, Schleicher notes. As one example, he noted in his summary report that “in most countries and economies, students scored higher in reading when they perceived their teachers as more enthusiastic, especially when they said their teachers were interested in the subject.”
In other words, happy teachers lead to better results. That’s hardly a surprising revelation, says Scheleicher. But professional development support is one thing that can sometimes be overlooked by policymakers when so much of the focus is on test scores.
America’s education system is not bad. It is above average, in fact. https://t.co/O8msa0ZT8l
— Noah Smith 🐇 (@Noahpinion) December 9, 2019
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