Hysteria. That is what I predict will be happening in education circles next year.
2014 may turn out to be frightening for education in America: We will likely see national hysteria over US students' falling scores, both in the recently released PISA test scores (Programme for International Student Assessment) and as a result of the new generation of Common Core assessments. We will see districts scrambling for silver bullet solutions. But the biggest concern I have is those such quick fix efforts could just make our education system bleed even more.
The PISA scores showed that the American students are falling even farther behind other countries... in spite of our obsession with testing and teacher accountability.
In the most recent round of testing, US students slipped from 25th to 31st in math since 2009; from 20th to 24th in science; and from 11th to 21st in reading. The 2013 test scores (released December 3) shows that the U.S. lags among 65 countries even after adjusting for poverty. Pretty shoddy statistics especially after we spend more than other nations on education -- $7,743 per student per year. The OECD data show almost no link between spending on education and PISA test results.