ERIC Number: EJ1074126
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: N/A
Wisconsin High Schools Learn from New PISA Test: International Comparison Drives Efforts to Improve
Borsuk, Alan J.
Education Next, v15 n4 Fall 2015
This article explores Kettle Moraine High School's experience of participating in the PISA-based test, known in the U.S. as the OECD Test for Schools. The high school is located on the western edge of Milwaukee. Starting with a trial run in 2012 that involved more than 100 U.S. schools, the OECD Test for Schools has been offered to individual American schools in an effort to provide local school administrators with an international benchmark. School-level results can be compared to those obtained by economies that administer the PISA. The percentage of Kettle Moraine students rated as proficient or advanced in reading and math on Wisconsin's standardized tests has been consistently above the state average in recent years. The local school board did not want to settle for being unduly content, so they set a goal of having graduates meet "international expections," which resulted in their participation in the OECD test. The results of the test taken in 2014 showed that Kettle Moraine High looked good, but not that good compared to global high performers. Kettle Moraine educators met before the beginning of the 2014-15 school year to review the previous year's test data and students' answers to school climate questions posed by the test. Changes were implemented, and Kettle Moraine participated in the OECD Test for Schools a second time in February 2015. When the results from the second year's tests arrived in May, there were encouraging signs. The scale score for Kettle Moraine High School students was particularly improved in reading, with 9 percent scoring in level five, the second-highest level. The science score also rose, but the math scores were unchanged; 9 percent of students scored in level five in science, and 15 percent scored in levels five or six in math. Patricia Deklotz, superintendent of the Kettle Moraine School District, appreciates the perspective the test provides on how Kettle Moraine students are doing--measured against the world--plus the insight into what school leaders otherwise would not know about their students, including how the students see their school experience.
Descriptors: High Schools, Comparative Testing, Comparative Education, Comparative Analysis, International Education, Educational Improvement, National Competency Tests, Benchmarking, Standardized Tests, Effective Schools Research, Expectation, Achievement Gains, School Culture, Cost Effectiveness, Improvement Programs, School Administration, School Effectiveness, Change Strategies, Educational Practices, Educational Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin