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[7 Dec 2016 | 3 Comments | 1,303]

I was surprised by China’s 2015 PISA performance, particularly in reading. I was confident that even the expansion beyond Shanghai would not cause a significant decline based on my understanding of the Chinese education system. And Beijing, Jiangsu, and Guangdong are traditionally strong performers in China, and among the most developed provinces, although behind Shanghai.
While I don’t believe PISA scores mean anything beyond the ability to perform on PISA tests, I wanted to see if I needed to change my thinking. Perhaps Chinese students are not as good at taking …

Blog, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[5 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 1,599]

The results of the Brexit referendum and U.S. presidential election will go down in history as the biggest surprises of 2016. The final results defied all predictions. The polls were wrong, as were the pundits. Though they predicted that the majority of Brits would vote to remain in the EU, more ended up voting to leave. Though they predicted a win for Clinton, Trump is the one moving into the White House this January. “From the US election to Brexit…the polls set voters and pundits up for a fall,” writes Siobhan …

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[30 Nov 2016 | 4 Comments | 2,045]

TIMSS[1] has become one of the two most influential international testing programs in the world today, the other being PISA. First introduced in 1995, TIMSS is conducted every four years to assess math and science learning in fourth and eighth grade. It has had significant impact on math and science education in the world over the last 20 years. Its impact on the U.S. education policies and practices over the last two decades cannot be overstated. According to the TIMSS 2015 Encyclopedia:
In the late 1990s, when the results of the …

Blog, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[29 Nov 2016 | 8 Comments | 4,759]

TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) beat PISA by one week. It just released its 2015 results. Within hours of the release, Google News has already collected over 10,000 news stories reacting to the results from around the world, some sad, some happy, some envious, and some confused. The biggest news is, however, nothing new: Children in East Asian countries best at maths. They were the best 20 years ago when TIMSS was first introduced in 1995. They were the best in all subsequent cycles.
Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, …

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[8 Oct 2016 | 3 Comments | 6,267]

From Deficiency to Strength: Shifting the Mindset about Education Inequality
To be published  Journal of Social Issues Vol. 72, No. 4, 2016, pp. 716–735. Download the PDF version.
Yong Zhao
University of Kansas
Author Note
Yong Zhao, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Kansas.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Yong Zhao, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045-3101.
Contact: yongzhao@ku.edu
Abstract
The “achievement gap” as a symptom of persistent social inequity has plagued American education and society for decades. The vast chasm in academic achievement has …

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[7 Dec 2015 | No Comment | 10,862]

Just as the U.S. is about to move away from over testing its students, PISA’s Andreas Schleicher says American students are not really over-tested: “The U.S. is not a country of heavy testing,” said Schleicher in a column published in the Hechingner Report.
Schleicher drew the conclusion based on PISA 2009 student survey data, which was not released publicly. Schleicher claims to “trust the reports of students on what actually happens in the classroom more than the claims of many experts” in his blog post that argues that U.S. is not …

Blog, Education Reforms, Technology »

[25 Oct 2015 | One Comment | 14,335]

Never Send a Human to do a Machine’s Job: Top 5 Mistakes in Ed Tech[1]
First published in the Answer Sheet of Washington Post on October 6 2015
A few weeks ago, the OECD released a report[2] that essentially says investing in technology does not lead to better education outcomes, measured by PISA scores. The study finds “no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in ICT for education. And perhaps the most disappointing finding of the report is that technology is …

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[20 Jul 2015 | 3 Comments | 32,680]

There are different views of personalized learning. My advocacy for personalization has been occasionally misunderstood as supporting the narrow view of personalized learning driven by big data and learning analytics with technology or online learning in general. Below is an excerpt of a chapter from a book I coauthored with a group of teachers and school leaders: World Class Learners Bundle to be published by Corwin. Hope it helps clarify my take on personalized learning.–Yong
To personalize is to design or produce something to meet individual requirements. In education, personalization is …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[19 Jun 2015 | 4 Comments | 21,445]

Executive Summary [full report]
Interest in learning from Asia’s high-performing education systems has grown rapidly in recent years. A flurry of research reports, media stories, and personal accounts of how Asia’s best education systems achieved their superb rankings on international league tables has been produced in the quest to improve education systems around the world (OECD, 2011) (Tucker, 2011) (Tucker, 2014) (Jensen, 2012) (Barber, Donnelly, & Rizvi, 2012). However, most of the popular observations and suggestions fail to point out the most important lessons to be learned from Asia.
The lessons from …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[9 May 2015 | No Comment | 16,647]

The year 2015 will be remembered as the beginning of a new era in Chinese education, according to some Chinese press[in Chinese]. It is the first year when a suite of policies aimed to transform the college entrance exam system or gaokao is to be implemented. The reforms are not a simple redesign of the exam, but rather a transformation of the entire college admission system. Because of the life-altering power of gaokao and the magnitude of the changes, this round of reform will likely bring transformative changes to education …