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December 07, 2010


Peter Pappas

Is PISA "a Sputnik wake-up" or are international comparisons invalid. Rather than wade into that debate, I'd rather look more closely at the questions in the PISA test and what student responses tell us about American education. You can put international comparisons aside for that analysis.

Are American students able to analyze, reason and communicate their ideas effectively? Do they have the capacity to continue learning throughout life? Have schools been forced to sacrifice creative problem solving for “adequate yearly progress” on state tests?

I focus on a sample PISA question that offers insights into what American students can (and cannot do) in my post "Stop Worrying About Shanghai, What PISA Test Really Tells Us About American Students" http://bit.ly/eChNoY


I am not a statistician but it would seem obvious from the large gap in the scores between China and the second place scores, there must be some "irregularities" between the data for China and the rest of the world.

I have no doubt that China would be at or near the top but the size of the gap brings the validity of the data into serious question.

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