he 2006 Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) results was released to an international audience by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the early hours of December 4 in Paris. At the National Press Club in Washington DC, Andreas Schleicher, Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division at OECD's Directorate for Education and PISA's chief architect and director, presented the results of the OECD study, including performance results in reading, mathematics, and science; with a special focus on students' attitudes towards science; and an analysis of the common elements of high performing education systems.
PISA is one of the few mechanisms for regularly and directly comparing the quality of educational outcomes in the countries that make up almost 90 percent of the world's economy. PISA measures the capacity of 15-year-old students in OECD countries to apply what they've learned in the classroom in order to analyze, reason, and communicate effectively. Past PISA results have shown that the U.S. position in international education rankings is declining and America's future workforce is falling behind that of other nations.
The major technological, economic, and demographic changes our society faces have ignited an awareness of the need to increase "America's competitiveness." If America is to improve its capacity to compete in the global knowledge economy, it must equip its education system with the ability to meet the fast-growing demand for high-level skills. The lessons learned from the PISA results and the OECD analysis of education systems across the globe can, and should, be used to inform American education policy so that our students graduate from high school ready to compete, thrive, and lead in the 21st century global economy. - Asia Society
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