Chat Today at 2 p.m. ET: International Tests and U.S. Education

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 23, 2009 1 min read
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Everywhere I turn on the education blogs this morning, I’m seeing mention of a report released by McKinsey & Co. yesterday that says the achievement gap between U.S. students and those in other nations is hurting the United States economically. See, “Achievement Gaps Drag Down Economy, Study Finds,” by my colleague Alyson Klein here at EdWeek and a post by guest blogger Liana Heitin at Politics K-12. Thomas Freidman mentions the report in a column in the The New York Times (picked up by eduwonk, Gotham Schools, and This Week in Education). Update: Read Eduflack’s take here.

It just so happens that the three writers for this blog have been doing some rather heavy-duty reporting looking into what three countries that are performing very well on international tests might be doing right in their curriculum and overall K-12 schooling systems. You can find stories at that we wrote about education in Australia, Slovenia, and South Korea.

But as an overview article accompanying the stories suggests, it isn’t easy to judge the value of the international tests that compare different schooling systems around the world.

And today at 2 p.m. ET, Kathleen Kennedy Manzo will be hosting a chat about the role of international tests in U.S. education.

Guests for the chat are Gary Phillips, a vice president and chief scientist at the American Institutes for Research, and Hal Salzman, a professor of public policy and a senior faculty fellow at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

If you miss the chat, you can read the transcript, which will be posted minutes after the chat is over at 3 p.m.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.