December 2013

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OECD Education and Skills Newsletter
Bringing you the highlights from the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills
Spotlight on

This issue of our newsletter brings to you the key education findings and policy directions emerging from recent OECD analysis in a single accessible free source.

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know

More and more countries are looking beyond their own borders for evidence of the most successful and efficient policies and practices. Indeed, in a global economy, success is no longer measured against national standards alone, but against the best-performing and most rapidly improving education systems.

Over the past decade, the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA has become the world’s premier yardstick for evaluating the quality, equity and efficiency of school systems. The PISA 2012 survey focused on mathematics, with reading, science and problem-solving minor areas of assessment. For the first time, PISA 2012 also included an assessment of the financial literacy of young people.

News roundup

PISA 2012 Mathematics Test Questions On Line
To understand more about the PISA 2012 mathematics test, answer sample questions, explore the concepts being tested and learn what 15-year-olds students at different proficiency levels can do. There are questions from four categories: Space & Shape, Change & Relationships, Quantity, and Uncertainty & Data.

Lessons from PISA 2012 for the United States
This report compares the performance of 15-year-olds in the United States in PISA against the global patterns and trends. It gives analysis of student performance on individual mathematics test items in order to reveal students’ strengths and weaknesses, and provides teaching practices that can help improve performance.

Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship
The call for proposals for the Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship is open until 20 December 2013. The programme supports individuals in conducting quantitative, evidence-based research on education, particularly in emerging economies with funding for up to one year, including time spent at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Individual PISA tests in English schools from 2014
Starting in 2014, individual schools in England will be able to take the OECD PISA-based version of an assessment tool. The assessment is already available in the United States where 165 schools are expected to test between November 2013 and March 2014. The Spanish government has also started implementing plans for a pilot test in 2013 and 2014.

Time for the U.S. to Reskill?
This report draws out the policy implications of the OECD’s new international Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) for the United States, while also making use of some additional data collected on the U.S. alone. The study identifies key lessons about the strategic objectives and directions which should form a frame for policy development in the U.S., including policy on adult learning and schooling.

Skills Beyond School
A Skills Beyond School Commentary on Sweden was published in November summarising the strengths and challenges in their system. Additional country reports will be published in 2014.

Feasibility Study on the Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO)
The third and final volume of the report from the feasibility study is now available. This volume includes the conclusions from the expert group on value-added measurement and the conference proceedings.

Teacher Evaluation in Chile 2013
This recent report on Teacher Evaluation in Chile forms part of the OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes. It provides, from an international perspective, an independent analysis of major issues facing teacher evaluation, current policy initiatives, and possible future approaches in Chile.

Education Policy Outlook: Country Profiles
Five new country profiles have been published: Chile, Finland, Mexico, Norway and Turkey. An analysis of common challenges, policy lessons learnt and reflections on how to make reform happen in education.

Just Published

PISA vol IV cover

PISA 2012 Results
The results of the 2012 PISA survey, the fifth round of the triennial assessment, have been released.
Volume I
summarises the performance of students in PISA 2012.
Volume II defines and measures equity in education and analyses how it has evolved across countries between PISA 2003 and 2012.
Volume III explores students’ engagement with and at school, their drive and motivation to succeed, and the beliefs they hold about themselves as mathematics learners.
Volume IV examines how student performance is associated with various characteristics of individual schools and school systems.

PISA 2012 Results in Focus
A summary report on the key findings of the PISA 2012 results. See country performance comparisons, rankings and what this means for policy and practice.
Leadership for 21st Century Learning
The latest report on Innovative Learning Environments is about setting direction, taking responsibility for putting learning at the centre and keeping it there.
Forthcoming Events

24 - 25 March 2014
High Level Policy Forum “Skills for Social Progress”, São Paulo, Brazil.
28 - 29 March 2014
The fourth International Summit on the Teaching Profession 2014 (ISTP), Wellington, New Zealand.

Policy Papers

PISA in Focus
• Who are the strong performers and successful reformers in education?
• What do immigrant students tell us about the quality of education systems?

Education Indicators in Focus
• Does upper secondary vocational education and training improve the prospects of young adults?
• How can countries best produce a highly-qualified young labour force?

PISA: data visualisation

• OECD Education GPS
• PISA International Database
• Education at a Glance raw data

Global perspectives on Education

What we learn from the PISA 2012 results, by Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the OECD's Secretary-General

Learning in rural China: The challenges for teachers, by Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the OECD's Secretary-General

Where diversity doesn’t mean disadvantage, by Marilyn Achiron, Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills

Education and skills using today's technologies, interview with Nele Leosk, Programme Director on ICT in Education, eGovernance Academy, Estonia

Top tweets @OECD Edu
arneduncan: Join @OECD SecGen Angel Gurria and me at 10am ET to discuss the new#oecdPISA results. Watch
The Kids Are All Right-er | Huffington Post click here
Boosting Adult Educational Skills Can Grow the Middle Class | Center for American Progress click here
Focusing on Improving World Education: radio interview with OECD Secretary General on #OECDSkills study click here
OECD #Howslife report shows significant progress in income & wealth, education, environment & subjective well-being click here

Watch short video on PISA
Working Papers

Learning Study: Its Origins, Operationalisation, and Implications, by Eric C.K. Cheng and Mun Ling Lo

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