Are American Students Average?
Another round of the PISA tests put U.S. students at “average” for reading, “average” in science, and “slightly below average” in math. Leading the world are students in South Korea, Finland, Singapore, and Shanghai, China.
Some findings from the report offer some interesting points:
Students from low socio-economic backgrounds score a year behind their more affluent classmates. However, poorer students who are integrated with their more affluent classmates score strikingly higher. The difference is worth more than a year’s education.
Schools that have autonomy over curriculum, finances and assessment score higher.
Students that attended pre-school score higher, even after more than 10 years.
Rate My Teacher!
In another article (this one from the NY Times), the question is asked about how effective it is that students give feedback on their teachers, as a form of evaluation.
One notable early finding, Ms. Phillips said, is that teachers who incessantly drill their students to prepare for standardized tests tend to have lower value-added learning gains than those who simply work their way methodically through the key concepts of literacy and mathematics.
The study mentioned in this article, funded by the Gates Foundation, found that “drill and kill” tactics for standardized tests isn’t helpful. This echoes earlier research from last year that said student use of technology that simply drilled facts had a negative impact on student achievement.
Our friends in Rockingham County schools have found a video online of several iOS musicians known as the North Point iBand.
It’s an interesting presentation, with each musician playing a different app using iPads and iPhone!