PISA: Why this international test matters and why my school did so well

As a busy high school student with a demanding schedule, the last thing I wanted to add to my plate was yet another standardized test. But my school signed up two years ago to take an international exam based on the PISA test, which is supposed to tell us whether we knew how to apply our math, science and reading… Read more →


What gives? More kids are graduating, but fewer really mastered high school skills

Online credit recovery courses are raising graduation rates and failing students, writes Jeremy Noonan, a science teacher who runs Citizens for Excellence in Public Schools. In October, President Obama announced that the national high school graduation rate had reached an all-time high in 2015. Yet that same year, the percentage of high school seniors ready for college-level reading and math declined… Read more →


Can U.S. high schools afford to ignore mediocre PISA scores? These students say no way

I recently spoke to a handful of young women at a high school in North Carolina who had taken an international test that is getting a lot of attention today–the PISA, a test taken by half a million 15-year-olds in 69 countries. Tanatswa, Keshal, Anisha and Hope understand something that seems to elude a lot of adults, even the ones… Read more →


Teens are tech savvy, but too gullible about online ‘truthiness’

Teens may be “digital natives,” but most can’t judge the credibility of online information, concludes a Stanford study. Students can’t google their way to the truth, write researchers Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew. At every level, we were taken aback by students’ lack of preparation: middle school students unable to tell the difference between an advertisement and a news story;… Read more →


I was the smart black girl schooled in a white world, but zip code shouldn’t be our education destiny anymore

So much has already been said about the current election. People are disappointed. People are in shock. People are in fear. As a school leader, I am trying to have careful conversations with staff and students because you can feel the heavy as we sit with the thoughts of our country’s future. In the diverse suburb where I am a… Read more →


How an Army base in Kansas kept thousands of military kids on track in school

When the 7,000 troops of the U.S. Army’s First Infantry Division, a.k.a. “The Big Red One,” returned home from Germany a decade ago, they brought their wives and children with them. This influx of nearly 20,000 new residents threatened to overwhelm many of the services offered around Ft. Riley, Kansas–including the schools in northeastern Kansas. The situation could have been… Read more →


Who cares about high school achievers?

Only four states — Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas — have accountability systems that encourage high schools to focus on high achievers, concludes Fordham’s High Stakes for High Schoolers Alabama, Idaho, Louisiana and New York are moving in that direction. Most states measure proficiency in English and math: Schools get no credit for helping students move from proficiency to excellence. Twenty-two… Read more →

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