AFT video on PISA – What does it say?

While those wishing to put stock in the rankings of the latest PISA results may claim some bias in this video from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the arguments reinforce the idea that our public schools are a reflection of our society. Until we (policy makers specifically) more effectively address issues such as poverty in America, we will only make incremental changes in student performance as assessed on these tests. It is interesting to me how much the United States’ ranking improves once levels of poverty are accounted for. Is this a valid argument?

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2 comments on “AFT video on PISA – What does it say?

  1. Observations: In my opinion there exists no apples to apples comparison available for the United States. Every other country is either far smaller, less populated and/or a monocultural society. No other country has 51 departments of education full of politicians and their appointees worried mostly about election results. One factor mentioned in the video that I would like to comment on is teacher collaboration time. I agree that more time is needed. For some, it doesn’t even exist. Special subject teachers are never given time to collaborate with each other or with classroom teachers to develop integrated lessons. Additionally, rarely if ever is professional development specific to special subject teachers offered during PD/inservice days. Finally, I’m not sure that video is appropriate for public consumption as a tool to change perceptions. First, the statistical onslaught seems very fast and furious. Second, I wonder if the slick production quality looks too much like a campaign video for teachers to be taken seriously by a public being told our “Public Screwals” (Rush Limbaugh’s favorite term.) need to be shut down and replaced with competitive, for-profit schools. So what to do? I say look at successful schools right here in the United States. What are their models? UbD? PBL? 1:1 computing? I like reading about what is happening at Anastasis Academy in Colorado as one example. But there are many success stories right in our back yard. I also think its time for “us” to take it to the for-profit testing companies and the politicians embracing them. Rock On, Charlie

  2. Charlie

    Thanks for your reading and regular commenting on this blog! I agree with you…there are pockets of success. We know how to do this. We need the leadership that will challenge the policymakers to let us do what we know needs to be done.

    Happy new year!

    Randy

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