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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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Demystifying International Tests: What Makes the PISA Special?

Hint: It's not about comparing students across nations.

If you've heard about how American students are scoring lower than their international peers on standardized tests, you've probably heard about the PISA. (No, it's not an exam about a famous Italian tower that leans.) The Program for International Student Assessment is a test that's given every three years to measure and compare the achievement of 15-year-olds across the globe.

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Shanghai Airport's Brilliantly Simple Lighter Recycling System

At Pudong Airport, instead of trashing the lighters confiscated from departing passengers, they're provided for free to arriving passengers.

China has a booming air travel industry and 350 million smokers. That means a lot of lighters get confiscated at security checkpoints.

At Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, instead of trashing the lighters confiscated from departing passengers, they're provided for free to arriving passengers. It's a brilliantly simple way of preventing a lot of plastic from ending up in the trash (and saving people a little cash).

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