PISA School-to-School Comparison Pilot Focus of NY Times Column

Writing in his New York Times column on August 8, 2012, Thomas L. Friedman, asks what’s preventing Americans from taking our education challenge seriously. He points to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Carnegie Corporation funded pilot called the PISA-Based Test for Schools an assessment tool being developed that is designed to provide school-level results that can be benchmarked against the results of other participating schools and allow for comparisons on the same scale as the main PISA assessment conducted in 2009.

In “Average is Over, Part II” the Times columnist writes “… it is disturbing when more studies show that American K-12 schools continue to lag behind other major industrialized countries on the international education tests. Like politicians, too many parents think if their kid’s school is doing better than the one next door, they’re fine.”

“Andreas Schleicher and his team at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which coordinates the Program for International Student Assessment, known as the PISA test. Every three years, the O.E.C.D. has been giving the PISA test to a sample of 15-year-olds, now in 70 countries, to evaluate reading, math and science skills. The U.S. does not stand out. It’s just average, but many parents are sure their kid is above average. With help from several foundations in the U.S., Schleicher has just finished a pilot study of 100 American schools to enable principals, teachers and parents to see not just how America stacks up against China, but how their own school stacks up against similar schools in the best-educated countries, like Finland and Singapore.”

Read Thomas L. Friedman’s August 8, 2012 column Average is Over, Part II