Can't erase the past


Photo by Jeff Wees

A dark shadow has been cast over the
widely-acclaimed prowess of Finland,
Singapore, and Shanghai on recent
international tests. Careful investigative reporting has found evidence of
widespread cheating in all three locales, with teachers and government workers
erasing and replacing students’ incorrect answers on PISA and TIMSS test papers. (In Shanghai, we learn,
uncooperative teachers simply went missing.) Thus far, however, reactions to
the news have been mixed. Finnish Minister of Education Henna Virkkunen asked
unapologetically, “What did you expect us to do? We’ve got to protect our
children from the emotional blow of bad test scores. They’re fragile creatures,
you know, and we have fewer than a million of them.” OECD Directorate for
Education head Andreas Schleicher released a statement embracing cheating as a
“twenty-first century skill” and promising that this important capability will
be assessed by PISA
in the future. And U.S. Secretary of
Education Arne Duncan tweeted “How do you like me now, Singapore!?”

Charlie Sheen, Finland and Singapore are NOT winning
,” by Greg Bottomo, U-S-A! U-S-A! Today, March 29, 2011.