Book your tickets to Shanghai.
The big news out of the PISA report is not the mediocre showing of American students—as if we didn’t know that—but the impressive debut of the Chinese. Here’s a useful piece by Sam Dillon of the New York Times. And if you want a little background on what PISA is, especially versus TIMSS, there are many explanations online; this one is as good as any.
You can be sure that the story over the next six months will be: What the heck are they doing in Shanghai? Among the quick-off analyses I’ve read in today’s pieces: emphasis on teacher training, lots of studying, a push to get students to care about PISA (wow), and instruction in critical thinking, which is measured on PISA more than on other assessments.
There will be junkets. I so want to be on them.