Ed reform goes global
After the 2009 PISA results went live and catalyzed our latest “Sputnik moment” (and after the release of any international assessments results, for that matter), America found itself humbled—and even a bit sheepish. Within the month, reports emerged—and continue to roll in—that further document our middling performance and set forth lessons to learn from abroad. Finland, South Korea, and Singapore were idolized. This week, we at Fordham are picking ourselves up and dusting off our knees. Heck, we’re even cracking a faint smile. A recent piece in the Economist points to increased school choice, strong standards and accountability systems, and decentralization as pillars of systemic success. Going further, the article showcases Poland’s fourth-largest city, which has significantly moved the needle on student achievement by adopting a “no excuses” culture and accountability model. Empowering school leaders helped spur change in Ontario’s schools. Unscientific, sure—but, for now, we’ll take it. Expect more from us in coming months on how other nations are implementing these reforms (and, what, if anything, we can learn from them).
“The great schools revolution,” by Staff, Economist, September 17, 2011.
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