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Do We Need to Ditch High-Stakes Testing to Compete with China?

Forget memorization and do-or-die, high-stakes testing. China's ditching those old schooling methods. Just as we're using them more than ever.

At a time when international test results—like last year's PISA data—seem to indicate that American students are falling behind their Chinese counterparts, we're feeling the pressure to adopt a stereotypically Chinese method of educating kids: lots of rote memorization of facts and hardcore standardized testing. But in a recent interview with Education News, Minxuan Zhang, the Director-General of the Center for International Education Studies, Ministry of Education, China, and National Project Manager of PISA, says that the Chinese vision of education no longer includes those kinds of rigid practices. Instead, China's moving away from rote learning.

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“The Modern Educator Is Not a Teacher”: Updating Learning for the 21st Century

Classrooms operate almost the same way they did 100 years ago. A group of of middle schoolers from the Dallas-Fort Worth area want to change that.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGvl5dg3l2M

Why do classrooms and schools operate almost the same way they did 100 years ago? A group of middle schoolers from the Dallas-Fort Worth area began asking themselves this question during a class discussion of Orson Scott Card's science fiction novel Ender's Game. More importantly, they began to wonder, "Could children, using the internet, have a dramatic impact on the world around them? Could they influence public opinion, and make a mark on their world?" Thus began "Education Evolution," a class video project that brings a student perspective to what's going wrong in the modern classroom, and offers up ideas of how it can be fixed.

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