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The Onion Expertly Satirizes Panic Over International Test Results

There's a new crisis for education reformers to freak out over. Ten percent of American high schoolers lack basic object permanence.


Heard about how America's in danger of losing her global dominance because students are scoring poorly in reading and math on international tests? Well, it turns out there's a new—and completely unforeseen—crisis for education reformers to freak out over. A full ten percent of U.S. high school students are graduating without basic object permanence.

Yes, folks, our friends at The Onion have been on a roll lately with their satirization of education issues—see their report on a college grad who loves his alma mater despite having loads of student loan debt and no job prospects—and this mocking of the hand-wringing over international test score results expertly keeps their streak going.

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India's Bailing on the Most Influential International Standardized Test

After an embarrassing second-to-last finish on the 2009 PISA, India says its kids aren't prepared this year.


The second most populous nation in the world is giving a thumbs down to the standardized test used to measure and compare the academic performance of students from around the globe. India is backing out of this year's administration of the Program for International Student Assessment, a test run by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that's given to 15-year-olds every three years.

You've probably heard about the PISA. The U.S. first started taking the test in 2000, and much has been made over our students not scoring the highest. We've never scored in the top spot on any international standardized test, but our average performance has become a sign that public education is failing. India, which first participated in the 2009 test, scored second to last out of 73 nations in reading, math, and science, only beating Kyrgyzstan.

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Could Shanghai's School Improvement System Work Here?

Teacher mentorship programs between low and high performing schools help bring everyone in the city up to speed.

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

15-year-olds in Shanghai, China outscored their peers around the globe in 2010 on the Program for International Student Assessment, a test that's given every three years to measure and compare achievement. It turns out that the secret to Shanghai's success is less about competition and more about collaboration between the city's excellent schools and its subpar schools.

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Debunking Education Myths: America's Never Been Number One in Math

China getting the top spot on the PISA tests created a panic over America's fall from academic grace. But our scores are actually improving.


Has America really fallen behind the rest of the world in academic achievement? According to a new report from the nonprofit Brookings Institution, all the doom-and-gloom commentary suggesting that we've fallen from the top spot simply isn't true. And, even more surprising, America's results are actually on the rise.

National panic ensued last December when data from the Program for International Student Assessment tests revealed our less than stellar international math results. Even worse, high schoolers from our competitor du jour, China, scored the top spot. But the report's author, Tom Loveless, writes that, "The United States never led the world. It was never number one and has never been close to number one on international math tests. Or on science tests, for that matter."

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American Student Performance Slips Again; China Is Number One

American students now rank average or below average when compared to kids in other countries—14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math.

It's official: Other nations are far better at educating their future citizens.

Every three years, the Program for International Student Assessment, known as PISA, is administered to 15-year-old students by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This year, high school students in Shanghai led the pack, with American students ranking average to below average by when compared to their global peers (full report, PDF).

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