When the Soviet Union launched Sputkik, the first successful satellite to orbit the earth, on October 4, 1957, it marked the beginning of an ongoing question of how American students and the educational system in the U.S. compares to systems in other countries. The resulting National Defense Education Act was one of the first major investments in public education by the federal government, and it was primarily driven by a perceived low level of American performance vis-a-vis other countries. Likewise, the publication in April, 1983, of A Nation At Risk by the National Commission on Excellence in Education sparked a national focus on increasing standards and student performance relative to other countries that continues to today. Indeed, the roots of the Common Core State Standards can be found in the demand for higher standards and clearer evidence of performance that was at the core of A Nation At Risk. One of the key driving forces in national educational policy has been the question of how well do American students do in comparison to other countries.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) manages the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) which provides international comparisons of student performance on the same instruments resulting in one of the few ongoing measures of comparable student academic performance across multiple countries. These results are generally viewed as one of the key indicators of the level of student achievement in international comparisons. There are significant differences across international boundaries that impact these results, including the diversity of the student population, the commitment of the country to educate all students, the nature of the curriculum, and so on. These results have led to examinations of the success of specific countries and regions, e.g., the growth of "Singapore Math" and the general success of schools in Finland.
The latest PISA results will be released tomorrow, December 3, 2013. You can watch the formal release of the data and an in-depth discussion of the results on a livestream. Register at PISADay.org. You can also follow the release of these data on Twitter at #OECDPISA. More information appears below.
PISA Day 2013:
Learning Beyond the Rankings
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (CT)
The livestream event will include:
- An official announcement by US Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria on the international results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and a discussion on the implications for US education policy
- Reactions to and lessons learned from 2012 PISA results, including a presentation by Wayne Camara, ACT Senior Vice President, Research
- A presentation by Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General of the OECD, containing in-depth findings from the report, including how the United States performed
- The first public release of new reports related to United States performance on the PISA, and the connections to college- and career-ready standards and deeper learning competencies
- Interviews with global education leaders and students involved in the PISA in Schools program
Visit PISADay.org to register for this livestream event.
Follow the action on Twitter using #OECDPISA.
Hosted by the following organizations:
The US Department of Education
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Achieve | ACT | Alliance for Excellent Education | America Achieves | Asia Society | Business Roundtable | College Board | Council of Chief State School Officers | National Board for Professional Teaching Standards National Center on Education and the Economy