Some highlights from yesterday’s New York Times: “Top Test Scores from Shanghai Stun Educators,” which discusses Shanghai’s high achievement rates in an international assessment test known as PISA.
“The results … appeared to reflect the culture of education there, including greater emphasis on teacher training and more time spent on studying rather than extracurricular activities like sports,” writes Sam Dillon.
“We have to see this as a wake-up call,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in an interview on Monday.
“I know skeptics will want to argue with the results, but we consider them to be accurate and reliable, and we have to see them as a challenge to get better,” he added. “The United States came in 23rd or 24th in most subjects. We can quibble, or we can face the brutal truth that we’re being out-educated.”
“Fifty years later, our generation’s Sputnik moment is back,” Mr. Obama said. With billions of people in India and China “suddenly plugged into the world economy,” he said, nations with the most educated workers will prevail. “As it stands right now,” he said, “America is in danger of falling behind.”