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Everyone’s Getting Straight A’s: PISA Results Released

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December 03, 2013 03:31 pm


Every other week, the Alliance for Excellent Education posts a new edition of Straight A’s: Public Education Policy and Progress, an online newsletter. Here are excerpts from this issue. You can read the entire articles online. If you would like to receive Straight A’s in your inbox, send an email to

“The term ‘deeper learning’ may be new, but its basic concepts are not,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “Deeper learning is what highly effective educators have always provided: the delivery of rich core content to students in innovative ways that allow them to learn and then apply what they have learned. These deeper learning skills are what PISA assesses, and they are the skills most in demand in today’s global economy. Today’s complex economy requires all students to possess deeper learning skills; unfortunately, they are also the skills that far too many U.S. students lack.” The Deepest Learners

Released December 3, the results of the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) show that American fifteen-year-olds ranked seventeenth in reading, twentieth in science, and twenty-seventh in mathematics among the thirty-four countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).Those rankings are lower than in the previous PISA given in 2009 when the United States ranked fourteenth in reading, seventeenth in science, and twenty-fifth in mathematics. PISA Results

New data on the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program released by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on November 21 shows that schools that have received two years of SIG funds are making larger increases in average proficiency rates in both reading and math, compared to all schools nationally. Under the Obama administration, the SIG program, which targets the nation’s lowest-performing schools, has allocated up to $2 million per school at more than 1,300 schools, approximately 40 percent of which are high schools. SIG-nificant Data

On November 19, President Obama announced a new $100 million collaboration between the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education that will provide high school students with education and training that combines rigorous academic and career-focused curriculum with work-based learning opportunities. Youth CareerConnect

“One of a school’s main goals should be to engage students—whether through work-based learning opportunities that apply classroom knowledge to real life or through high-level courses that give them the chance to earn college credits,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “Engaged students are motivated students, and motivated students succeed, every time.” Climate Change


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