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NEA on PISA results

Multiple factors—rather than a single one-size-fits-all solution—are needed to help us move up the results ladder.

WASHINGTON - December 06, 2016 -

Earlier today the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the latest results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a test of reading, mathematics, and science given every three years to fifteen-year-olds in more than sixty countries. This year’s results showed that mathematics literacy scores for U.S. students declined, whereas science and reading literacy scores were not measurably different from previous years.

Below is a statement from NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.

“What do the PISA high-performing nations do differently than the United States? They invest in their students. They fully fund all of their schools, regardless of the ZIP code or community they are in. They value the collaboration between parents, educators, administrators, communities and elected officials. They make the teaching profession attractive and they support their teachers. They invest in early childhood education.

“PISA tells us that if we are serious about reaching all students, we must take their circumstances into account: students have different experiences and instruction should be designed to meet students where they are. Multiple factors and interventions—rather than a single one-size-fits-all solution—are needed to help us move up the results ladder. A separate and unequal education system hurts students, particularly those students most in need.

“Schools are successful when states invest in students, rely on the participation of an engaged and professional teachers’ union, encourage community involvement and support, and welcome a comprehensive view of education.

“We need to determine what concrete steps we can take to ensure future generations have the knowledge they need to succeed in the global 21st century economy. We need to focus on what all of our students need to succeed so that each and every one of them, regardless of their ZIP code, can take another step up on that ladder.”

 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
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CONTACT: Celeste Busser  (202) 822-7823,