Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States


Table of contentsHow to obtain this publication 
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ISBN: 9789264096660
Pages: 258
Publication: Forthcoming
Language: English






Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States


US President Obama has launched one of the world’s most ambitious education reform agendas. Under the heading “Race to the Top”, this agenda encourages US states to adopt internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace: recruit, develop, reward, and retain effective teachers and principals; build data systems that measure student success; and inform teachers and principals how they can improve their practices and turn around their lowest-performing schools.


But what does the “top” look like internationally? How have the countries at the top managed to achieve sustained high performance or to significantly improve their performance? The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) provides the world’s most extensive and rigorous set of international surveys assessing the knowledge and skills of secondary school students. This volume combines an analysis of PISA with a description of the policies and practices of those education systems that are close to the top or advancing rapidly, in order to offer insights for policy from their reform trajectories.


Table of contents

  • Chapter 1 Introduction
  • Chapter 2 Viewing Education in the United States Through the Prism of PISA
  • Chapter 3 Ontario, Canada: Reform to Support High Achievement in a Diverse Context
  • Chapter 4 Shanghai and Hong Kong: Two Distinct Examples of Education Reform in China
  • Chapter 5 Finland: Slow and Steady Reform for Consistently High Results
  • Chapter 6 Japan: A story of Sustained Excellence
  • Chapter 7 Singapore: Rapid Improvement Followed by Strong Performance
  • Chapter 8 Brazil: Encouraging Lessons from a Large Federal System
  • Chapter 9 Germany: Once Weak International Standing Prompts Strong Nationwide Reforms for Rapid Improvement
  • Chapter 10 Vignettes on education reforms: England and Poland
  • Chapter 11 Lessons for the United States


How to obtain this publication

  • Subscribers and readers at subscribing institutions will soon be able to access the online editions via iLibrary, our online library.
  • Non-subscriberscan buy the print version via our Online Bookshop.
  • The book will soon be available through your local distributor
  • Download the PDF

Videos (produced by the Pearson Foundation)

Policy experience videos on Canada, Finland, Poland and Shanghai

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