Ed reform goes global


globe photo

Fordham's ideas of ed reform
spread far and wide
(Photo by Simon Koleznik)

After the 2009 PISA results went live and catalyzed our latest
“Sputnik moment” (and after the release of any international assessments
results, for that matter), America found itself humbled—and even a bit
sheepish. Within the month, reports emerged—and continue to roll in—that
further document our middling performance and set forth lessons to
learn from abroad. Finland, South Korea, and Singapore were idolized.
This week, we at Fordham are picking ourselves up and dusting off our
knees. Heck, we’re even cracking a faint smile. A recent piece in the
Economist points to increased school choice, strong standards and
accountability systems, and decentralization as pillars of systemic
success. Going further, the article showcases Poland’s fourth-largest
city, which has significantly moved the needle on student achievement by
adopting a “no excuses” culture and accountability model. Empowering
school leaders helped spur change in Ontario’s schools. Unscientific,
sure—but, for now, we’ll take it. Expect more from us in coming months
on how other nations are implementing these reforms (and, what, if
anything, we can learn from them).

great schools revolution
,” by Staff, Economist,
September 17, 2011.