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ERIC Number: ED513735
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 259
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-9-2640-9665-3
Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States
OECD Publishing (NJ1)
This volume draws lessons from the education systems of a selection of top-scoring and rapidly improving countries as measured by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). While this volume relates these lessons to the education reform agenda in the United States, they may have resonance for a wide range of countries and different types of education systems aspiring for excellence in educating their young people. This volume defines countries as high-performing if: almost all of their students are in high school at the appropriate age, average performance is high and the top quarter of performers place among the countries whose top quarter are among the best performers in the world (with respect to their mastery of the kinds of complex knowledge and skills needed in advanced economies as well their ability to apply that knowledge and those skills to problems with which they are not familiar); student performance is only weakly related to their socio-economic background; and spending per pupil is not at the top of the league tables. Put another way, this volume defines superior performance as high participation, high quality, high equity and high efficiency. Chapter 1 describes the framework of analysis for this volume, the PISA measures used in this volume, and the methodology for developing the country chapters and lessons. Chapter 2 sets the stage by analysing in-depth the performance of the United States on PISA, contrasting its relative strengths and weaknesses with those of other countries. The subsequent chapters of this volume present detailed analyses of education systems which are either high-performing or have seen rapid improvements in their performance. For each country, desk reviews and interviews with a range of experts in the field of education were conducted. Each chapter first reviews the country's history and culture as context for understanding its education system. The chapters then go on to outline the main elements of the country's education system and how these relate to the observed outcomes. These elements vary across the education systems described, but generally include standards, examination systems, instructional systems, school finance, teacher quality, accountability, student motivation, and so on. Recent policy developments are highlighted in the context of past reforms. Each chapter concludes by drawing wider lessons. The last chapter draws together the threads of the preceding chapters to present some of the policy lessons that can be drawn. Individual chapters contain references and notes. (Contains 14 boxes, 42 figures, and 10 tables.)
OECD Publishing. 2, rue Andre Pascal, F-75775 Paris Cedex 16, France. Tel: +33-145-24-8200; Fax: +33-145-24-8500; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment