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[12 Apr 2014 | One Comment | 4,838]

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Part 5
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that PISA is a secrete plan of Western powers to derail China’s education reforms.  China has been working hard to introduce significant reforms since the 1990s to overcome the apparent shortcomings of its education system in order to cultivate a more diverse, creative, and entrepreneur citizenry. Such a citizenry is urgently needed for China’s successful transition from a labor-intensive economy to one that relies on innovation, …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[29 Mar 2014 | 6 Comments | 11,003]

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Part 4
China’s poorest beat our best pupils—The Telegraph (UK), 2-17-2014
Children of Shanghai cleaners better at math than kids of Israeli lawyers—Haaretz (Israel), 2-19-2014
Cleaners’ children in China beat kids of US, UK professionals at maths: study—NDTV (India), 2-18-2014
Children of Chinese janitors outscore wealthy Canadians in global exams—The Globe and Mail (Canada), 2-19- 2014
These are some of the most recent sensational headlines generated by PISA with a 4-page report entitled Do parents’ occupations have an impact on student performance …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[23 Mar 2014 | 6 Comments | 11,633]

Few numbers command as much power as PISA scores, not even the number of Olympic medals or Nobel Prize winners in the world today. It is utterly shocking and embarrassing to see some otherwise rational and well-educated people (or at least they should be) in powerful positions believe that three test scores show the quality of their education systems, the effectiveness of their teachers, the ability of their students, and the future prosperity of their society.
PISA has become the star-maker in the education universe because of its bold claim to …

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[16 Mar 2014 | 7 Comments | 11,150]

authoritarian: of, relating to, or favoring blind submission to authority (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
authoritarianism: principle of blind submission to authority, as opposed to individual freedom of thought and action (Encyclopedia Britannica)
PISA’s glorification of educational authoritarianism goes beyond its romanticization of the misery children suffer in authoritarian education systems as discussed in my last post. Because some authoritarian education systems seem to generate better PISA rankings, it has been concluded that educational authoritarianism, the systemic arrangements designed to enforce government-prescribed, uniform standards upon all children, should be emulated by the rest of the world. …

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[9 Mar 2014 | 12 Comments | 14,392]

PISA, the OECD’s triennial international assessment of 15 year olds in math, reading, and science, has become one of the most destructive forces in education today. It creates illusory models of excellence, romanticizes misery, glorifies educational authoritarianism, and most serious, directs the world’s attention to the past instead of pointing to the future. In the coming weeks, I will publish five blog posts detailing each of my “charges,” adapted from parts of my book Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education.
Part One: …

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[22 Feb 2014 | 2 Comments | 7,675]

In researching for my book Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the World’s Best and Worst Education, I realized that PISA should have been invented about 300 years ago. Its advice and influence would have been perfect 300 years ago but are misleading today. Here is why:
Had it existed 300 years ago, PISA could have spared the world numerous disasters. It could have helped to convince the world to learn from China and Chinese education, like the Jesuit missionaries did in the 17th Century. If the …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[19 Feb 2014 | 4 Comments | 5,654]

(from my new book: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the World’s Best and Worst Education to be published by Jossey-Bass)
For those who admire the Chinese education system, here is another cautionary tale.  The Chinese government has (re)issued another round of orders to end two practices that have delivered China’s great test scores: school choice and testing.
In January 2014, the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a stern policy demanding all middle schools (grades 6 to 8 ) admitting students solely based on residence in an attempt …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[2 Dec 2013 | 24 Comments | 31,038]

“Finland Fell from the Tip of PISA,” says the headline of a story in the largest subscription newspaper Helsingin Sanomat in Finland, according to Google Translate (I think it should be
Finland Falls from the Top of PISA). I don’t know Finnish but thanks to Google Translate, I was able to understand most of the story. The gist is that Finland has fallen from the top in the current round of PISA.
This is big news, with significant implications not only for the Finns but also for the rest of the world …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[22 Aug 2013 | 22 Comments | 37,649]

No standardized tests, no written homework, no tracking. These are some of the new actions China is taking to lessen student academic burden. The Chinese Ministry of Education released Ten Regulations to Lessen Academic Burden for Primary School Students this week for public commentary. The Ten Regulations are introduced as one more significant measure to reform China’s education, in addition to further reduction of academic content, lowering the academic rigor of textbooks, expanding criteria for education quality, and improving teacher capacity.
The regulations included in the published draft are:

Transparent admissions. Admission …

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[24 Jun 2013 | 18 Comments | 33,756]

Last week the Chinese Ministry of Education launched another major reform effort to reduce the importance of testing in education. In a document sent to all provincial education authorities on June 19th, the Ministry of Education unveiled guidelines and a new framework for evaluating schools.
China has engaged in numerous systemic reforms over the last few decades, with the goal to minimize the impact of testing on teaching and learning. “However, due to internal and external factors, the tendency to evaluate education quality based simply on student test scores and school …