Why Shanghai Scored So High

By Douglas B. Reeves

When the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results were released in December, the big surprise was the world-leading performance by Shanghai. One commentator, former Reagan administration education official Chester Finn, likened the results to Sputnik, the Soviet satellite that beat the U. S. into space in the 1950s.

School board members are likely to hear many dire predictions about the rise of China and the decline of the U.S. Some of these assertions, however, deserve closer scrutiny.

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