STUDENT achievement has surged dramatically in several countries around the world, surpassing the United States. Journalist Amanda Ripley convincingly suggests those nations’ experiences should inform education policy in Oklahoma.
In writing “The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way,” Ripley reviewed other nations’ school systems and interviewed foreign-exchange students. (This included a look at Oklahoma.) She discussed her findings at a luncheon last week hosted by Stand for Children, which advocates for better schools.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international test for 15-year-olds administered in reading, math and science. In recent years, students in about 40 of 60 participating countries have demonstrated significant improvement in at least one subject area. “And some of these are complicated countries,” Ripley said. “They’re not all Finland. You’re now seeing countries like Estonia, Vietnam, Canada, Poland, countries with significant levels of child poverty that dramatically improved their outcomes and their equities.”