In the News: Why One Houston High School Stands Out In Global Test Results

While the overall results for U.S. students on this year’s PISA exam were not good, some individual high schools got good news about the performance of their students on the test.

ednext-dec2016-blog-ototn-pisa-schoolsThe OECD Test for Schools program allows a sample of students in selected schools to take a version of the PISA exam.

As Alan Borsuk explains

Starting with a trial run in 2012 that involved more than 100 U.S. schools, the OECD Test for Schools has been offered to individual American schools in an effort to provide local school administrators with an international benchmark. School-level results can be compared to those obtained by economies that administer the PISA. The campaign to enlist schools to administer the new OECD tests—and, more importantly, to make good use of the results—has been led by America Achieves, a New York‒based nonprofit that wants to “fire up” the education system to be more ambitious and effective in improving student achievement. “We need to get better faster,” Jon Schnur, the executive chairman, explained.

Laura Isensee wrote this week for Houston Public Media about Chavez High School in southeast Houston, where scores have risen significantly since students first took the test three years ago.

For EdNext, Borsuk visited Kettle Moraine High School in Wisconsin in 2015.  The school participated in the OECD Test for Schools program to see if it was doing a good job of preparing its students for a global economy.

“Our results are generally high, but compared to whom?” asked Patricia Deklotz, superintendent of the Kettle Moraine School District, which covers a large piece of once heavily rural land, where more subdivisions appear every year.

Compared to surrounding schools? Compared to the rest of Wisconsin? How about compared to students around the globe, especially those in high-performing nations?

The article looks at how Kettle Moraine responded to its initial results on the test and at the impact of those changes on later test results.

— Education Next

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