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[19 Feb 2014 | 6 Comments | 21,112]

(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 …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[2 Dec 2013 | 24 Comments | 63,728]

“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 …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[22 Aug 2013 | 26 Comments | 65,567]

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 …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[24 Jun 2013 | 22 Comments | 64,128]

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 …

Blogs, Education Reforms, Globalization, Technology »

[2 Jan 2013 | 31 Comments | 201,671]

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 …

Blogs, Education Reforms »

[11 Dec 2012 | 22 Comments | 207,362]

“America’s Woeful Public Schools: TIMSS Sheds Light on the Need for Systemic Reform”[1]
“Competitors Still Beat U.S. in Tests”[2]
“U.S. students continue to trail Asian students in math, reading, science”[3]
These are a few of the thousands of headlines generated by the release of the 2011 TIMSS and PIRLS results today. Although the results are hardly surprising or news worthy, judging from the headlines, we can expect another global wave of handwringing, soul searching, and calls for reform. But before we do, we should ask how meaningful these scores and rankings are.
“Numbers don’t …

Education Reforms »

[26 Oct 2012 | One Comment | 26,012]

(A guest post by Dr. Doug Green at http://www.drdouggreen.com/).

With all of the news about Lance Armstrong, who seems to be the poster boy for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), I think it’s time to look at how this situation impacts schools. School districts in many districts have been testing high school students for a while to see it they are engaged in the kind of cheating that Lance has been accused of. In some districts the testing goes beyond sports to extra curricular activities. You have to wonder what kind of …

Blogs, Education Reforms »

[7 Oct 2012 | 12 Comments | 45,922]

A number of people have asked me about my brief encounter with New York Commissioner John King at the NYSCOSS Fall Leadership Summit on September 24, 2012. Here is my recollection.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor to listen to New York Education Commissioner Dr. John B. King, Jr. at the 2012 Fall Leadership Summit New York State Council of School Superintendents(NYSCOSS) in Saratoga Springs. Addressing a standing-room only audience of NY school leaders, Dr. King covered a wide range of topics from the Common Core to APPR …

Blogs, Education Reforms »

[17 Jun 2012 | 68 Comments | 230,273]

The wonder drug has been invented, manufactured, packaged, and shipped. Doctors and nurses are being trained to administer the drug properly. Companies and consultants are offering products and services to help with the proper administering of this wonder drug. A national effort is underway to develop tools to monitor the improvement of the patients. The media are flooded with enthusiastic endorsement and euphoric predictions.
This cure-all wonder drug is the Common Core, short for the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Cooked up by the National Governors Association and the Council of …

Blogs, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[6 Jun 2012 | 27 Comments | 93,618]

Education has been given the task to turn our children into globally competitive workforce. It is thus no surprise that results of international assessments such as the PISA and TIMSS are closely watched by policy makers and the media as an indication a nation’s education quality and their future competitiveness. While I have serious reservations about making “global competitiveness” as an honorable purpose of education and the reduction of complex phenomenon such as education and human capacity into simplistic numbers, I am unable to resist the seduction of numbers and …