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What Can We Learn From Countries That Effectively Teach Math?

KQED News Mind/Shift – Staff Writer

“How math is taught in the United States and how our students perform on international math tests continue to be areas of intense debate. The most recent Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results for 15-year-olds show a significant drop in math performance between 2012 and 2015 among U.S. students who now rank 40th out of the 73 countries tested. While an international comparison of this sort can never tell the whole story, PISA administrators have started including questions about how students study. The answers to these survey questions about how students approach learning math could help provide some insight into which strategies work and which do not.”(more)

Wisconsin High Schools Learn from New PISA Test

Education Next – Alan J. Borsuk

“The countryside 30 miles west of Milwaukee was a great place to escape to in the middle of the 20th century, and that’s just what Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne wanted. The premier theater couple of that era made Ten Chimneys their home in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin. It was a secluded spot where many of the biggest stars of American and British entertainment joined them for peaceful getaways. But in the early years of the 21st century, there are no getaways from the demands of a fast-paced world. On the same turf that Lunt and Fontanne envisioned as a retreat, school leaders see their students as upcoming members of a global economy.”(more)

In the world’s biggest education test, one small country has raced past all the others

Quartz – Jenny Anderson and Amy X. Wang

“Every three years the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tests 15-year-olds around the world on their math, science and reading abilities. Then, countries around the world celebrate, or panic. For example, in 2000, the world learned Finland was a global education superpower (that was news to many in Finland too, according to some). Somehow the country managed to start kids in school at 7, have short school days, assign little homework, test kids infrequently, and still eke out amazing results.”(more)

Why America should care about its students’ lackluster performance on the global PISA tests

The Hechinger Report – Robert Rothman

“Once again, results from an international test show that U.S. students perform relatively poorly, and once again, critics say the results don’t matter and should be ignored. This would be a mistake. The results do matter, and American educators will lose out if they dismiss the findings so easily. By taking the results seriously, educators can examine the practices and policies of countries that do well on the test and see what they can do to improve practice in this country.”(more)

What America Can Learn About Smart Schools in Other Countries

The New York Times – Amanda Ripley

“Every three years, half a million 15-year-olds in 69 countries take a two-hour test designed to gauge their ability to think. Unlike other exams, the PISA, as it is known, does not assess what teenagers have memorized. Instead, it asks them to solve problems they haven’t seen before, to identify patterns that are not obvious and to make compelling written arguments. It tests the skills, in other words, that machines have not yet mastered.”(more)

U.S. math scores decline on international test of 15-year-olds

Ed Source – Theresa Harrington

“U.S. students declined in average math scores in the latest round of international testing, ranking below 36 countries or educational systems out of more than 70 that participated. U.S. students showed no signs of improvement in science and reading. According to results released Tuesday, the top-performing country in all three subjects was Singapore.”(more)