Every three years, the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) conducts an international assessment of the educational programs provided in countries across the world. The test measures the skills and knowledge of 15-year olds in over 70 countries, regions, and economies, covering reading, math and science. In addition, education systems can also choose to test their students in creative problem-solving and/or financial literacy.
Image via flickr and Paul VanDerWerf
The test is given at random schools worldwide and is a mix of multiple choice questions and open-ended responses. The PISA test is not based on any particular school curriculum. Instead, it is intended to measure how students at the end of compulsory education (age 15 in many counties) apply what they’ve learned to real life skills.
The 2012 PISA results are the most recently published (2015 test results were not available at the time of this article). Many of the top performing countries from 2009 continued to dominate the assessment. However, a few newcomers—Taiwan, Estonia, and Poland—edged their way into the 2012 rankings. Let’s take a look at the top 10 performing counties in the world based on the PISA assessment and see what they’re doing right for students, teachers, and schools.
Canada: In Canada, there is not a lot of difference in how students across racial, ethnic, socioeconomic statuses perform on the PISA. Even students from heavily populated province, Ontario, had strong scores. The Canadian education system is decentralized; each province and territory has control over curriculum. However, the …