A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shares results from PISA, an international test taken every three years by half a million 15-year olds in 69 countries. The results show that while the United States is making major strides in ensuring equity for all students -- regardless of socioeconomic background -- there's still much more work to be done, particularly in math, an essential STEM skill and important predictor of earning potential, where the United States continues to lag behind. This immense responsibility must be shared, as education, government, and community can't do it alone. The support of corporate America is also needed when it comes to preparing our future leaders.
The results of the latest Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) testing, provided insight into a major gain in equity. According to The New York Times article, "One in three disadvantaged American teenagers beat the odds in science, achieving results in the top quarter of students from similar background worldwide." That accomplishment alone is cause for celebration as we are now experiencing the fruits of transformation that have stemmed from overcoming obstacles and breaking down barriers. No longer does the future belong to only those with wealth and resources, as it won't guarantee top performance in today's economy, but can be attainable for all students when given equal opportunity.
Increasing achievement in math will not only benefit the future of education in the United States, but will have an impact on the futures of all citizens. With math still a major weakness for the United States, we must work to improve student performance in this critical discipline. The first step is identifying where the disconnect lies and working to rectify what factors are causing students to struggle. We must connect the dots and make it our responsibility to demonstrate how the lessons learned in the classroom will be of use to students in managing real-life responsibilities -- such as creating a budget and handling money -- so that they can understand the value and gain a better understanding that will serve them throughout the many stages of life.
Corporate America also has a responsibility and an opportunity to build the workforce pipeline. Supporting legislation and policies that bring the business, economic, and workforce development communities together with education is the key to success. There is strength in numbers, and it is up to all of us to create a diverse talent pipeline that will continue to produce jobs with rising income.
The equation is simple. Students are our future, and by empowering them, we are taking matters into our own hands and shaping a workforce that will ultimately determine our place in the global landscape.
The truth is that we'll need all hands on deck to make our future ready movement a reality. Can we count on your commitment?
The New York Times
Ripley, Amanda. "What the U.S. Can Learn From Other Nations' Schools." The New York Times 8 Dec. 2106, late ed., A3 sec.: A3 Print.