April 2011 Your Turn

Are you concerned that U.S. 15-year-olds rank 25th out of 37 nations on the PISA test of mathematical literacy?

Yes.

Are you profoundly skeptical about what tests like the PISA -- Programme for International Student Assessment -- actually measure and exactly what populations of students are being tested?

Yes.

More than half (51 percent) of Your Turn responders said the results of international tests like the PISA are “cause for serious concern.” But many of you had caveats, and another 31 percent said the tests have been “overhyped.” Eleven percent said the tests were useful but not a cause for serous concern, and 6 percent marked “none of the above.”

“We have to be very careful with regard to individual studies that we are comparing apples to apples and that we are measuring what we really want to achieve,” wrote Utah board member Larry Smith. “However, the preponderance of evidence over time is that we need to kick up math education at least two notches.”

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