The big news out of the PISA report is not the mediocre showing of American students—as if we didn’t know that—but the impressive debut of the Chinese. Here’s a useful piece by Sam Dillon of the New York Times. And if you want a little background on what PISA is, especially versus TIMSS, there are many explanations online; this one is as good as any.
You can be sure that the story over the next six months will be: What the heck are they doing in Shanghai? Among the quick-off analyses I’ve read in today’s pieces: emphasis on teacher training, lots of studying, a push to get students to care about PISA (wow), and instruction in critical thinking, which is measured on PISA more than on other assessments.
There will be junkets. I so want to be on them.