Monday, December 20, 2010

Shanghai and PISA

Several people sent me links to articles about Shanghai's performance on the PISA tests, such as this one from the Christian Science Monitor.

Some thoughts:

1. My Michigan colleague Kevin Miller, who is cited extensively in the article, is a very cool guy. We once ended up stuck at Reagan airport in DC for several hours. I don't know about Kevin, but it was by far the most interesting and enjoyable flight delay I ever had.

2. I am surprised that there was no mention of cheating in the article, not in the sense of the students who took the test cheating on it but rather via strategic manipulation of who showed up on test days. People raised under communism understand how to game performance measures even better than do US educators, whose manipulation of performance measures such as those in the No Child Left Behind Act is well documented.

3. It continues to amaze me how little real knowledge we have about how to educate. That has started to change in recent years with improved research designs but only over the screaming and flailing opposition of many educators and professors of education.

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