Lessons from PISA for the United States
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Lessons from PISA for the United States

US President Obama has launched one of the world’s most ambitious education reform agendas. Under the heading “Race to the Top”, this agenda encourages US states to adopt internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace: recruit, develop, reward, and retain effective teachers and principals; build data systems that measure student success; and inform teachers and principals how they can improve their practices and turn around their lowest-performing schools.

But what does the “top” look like internationally? How have the countries at the top managed to achieve sustained high performance or to significantly improve their performance? The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) provides the world’s most extensive and rigorous set of international surveys assessing the knowledge and skills of secondary school students. This volume combines an analysis of PISA with a description of the policies and practices of those education systems that are close to the top or advancing rapidly, in order to offer insights for policy from their reform trajectories.

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OECD

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Globalisation and modernisation are rapidly posing new and demanding challenges to individuals and societies alike. Increasingly diverse and interconnected populations, rapid technological change in the workplace and in everyday life, and the instantaneous availability of vast amounts of information are just a few of the factors contributing to these new demands. In this globalised world, people compete for jobs not just locally but internationally. The integrated worldwide labour market means that highly-paid workers in wealthier countries are competing directly with people with much the same skills but who demand less compensation in lower-wage countries. The same is true for people with low skills. The competition among countries now revolves around human capital and the comparative advantage in knowledge.
 
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