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[9 Mar 2014 | 12 Comments | 14,269]

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 | 7,502]

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 | 5,605]

(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 | 30,914]

“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 …