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[9 Mar 2014 | 17 Comments | 37,952]

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 | 3 Comments | 45,019]

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 | 6 Comments | 12,004]

(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 | 43,849]

“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 | 26 Comments | 49,569]

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 …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[24 Jun 2013 | 20 Comments | 46,009]

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 …

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[17 Feb 2013 | 2 Comments | 74,300]

In my latest book World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students, I list a globalized campus as the context for cultivating globally competent creator and entrepreneurs. The idea is to use technology to bring global education resources to schools to personalize education, to engage students on a daily basis in collaborative learning with global partners, and to enable teachers and students to create authentic works for others around the global. A globalized campus requires globally competent and connected education leaders and teachers and a global network of educational institutions. …

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[17 Jan 2013 | 26 Comments | 87,097]

I have been waiting for a serious conversation about the sensibility of the Common Core State Standards Initiative with its staunch supporters. I am thus very pleased to read Marc Tucker’s response to my five questions about the Common Core. I am honored that Tucker considers my questions worth responding to. His response, while thoughtful and more nuanced than the usual slogan-shouting, emotion-arousing, and fear-mongering evidence-deprived commercials put forth by some instigators and supporters of the Common Core like this one, did not really answer my questions.  But it did …

Blog, Education Reforms, Globalization, Technology »

[2 Jan 2013 | 30 Comments | 167,389]

If you are reading this, you know the world didn’t end in 2012. But the world of American education may end in 2014, when the Common Core is scheduled to march into thousands of schools in the United States and end a “chaotic, fragmented, unequal, obsolete, and failing” system that has accompanied the rise of a nation with the largest economy, most scientific discoveries and technological inventions, best universities, and largest collection of Nobel laureates in the world today. In place will be a new world of education where all …

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[16 Dec 2012 | One Comment | 38,768]

Handwringing and head scratching around the 2011 TIMSS and PIRLS results released yesterday continue around the globe. While Western countries show great admiration of the outstanding scores of East Asia and lament on their own abysmal performance, the East Asian education systems, while celebrating their achievement, are worried about something that the media in Western countries rarely mentions. Here are some examples:
Japan:
“But enthusiasm for studying science was below the global average among Japanese second-year junior high students. The fourth-graders interest in arithmetic was also below the world average.” –Japan Times
Singapore:
Nevertheless, …