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The Global Learning Network: A Learning Community for OECD Test for Schools Participants

Success in the 21st century requires young people to reach a higher bar, including mastery of rigorous academic content and the acquisition of critical, deeper learning skills. The OECD Test for Schools is a new assessment based on the international PISA exams given to 15 year olds. It assesses student performance in math, science, and reading, captures critical student survey data, and helps schools assess how well they are preparing students to meet this higher bar.

In 2012, America Achieves partnered with the OECD to pilot this assessment in 100 U.S. high schools. Following a successful pilot, this assessment is now available to every high school in the U.S. All participating high schools are invited to join America Achieves’ Global Learning Network, a professional learning community that provides educators with insights and tools to help more students succeed at globally-competitive levels.

Benefits of Participation


  • Engaging with other participants through webinars throughout the school year;
  • Learning lessons from schools around the globe; and
  • Understanding school results and sharing best practices for leveraging those results for school improvement.
  • Overview of the Global Learning Network


  • International Benchmarking. Allows individual schools to compare themselves to high-performing schools and systems worldwide.
  • Diagnostic. A voluntary tool for learning and improving, not an accountability measure.
  • A Richer Measure. Assesses knowledge of math, reading, and science, as well as key skills such as critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Manageable. A sample of between 85 (for most schools) and 49 (for small schools) 15-year-old students is needed. CTB/McGraw Hill administers the test, analyzes the results, and produces the reports.
  • Data Rich. Schools get detailed reports with an analysis of test results and student survey data.

Financial support from major foundations, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Kern Family Foundation, will make the next phase of the project possible. This phase includes development of the assessment and growth of the program.

Information about the OECD Test for Schools Pilot in 2012

In 2012, America Achieves collaborated with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to pilot the OECD Test for Schools. Learn what pilot participants say about their experience and watch a webinar, featuring a pilot participant who wants to encourage others to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

More than 100 U.S. schools participated. Administrators and educators said that the experience was overwhelmingly positive, and that they made key changes to course requirements, curricula, and teacher development programs in response to the results. Pilot participants that shared their results publically received positive media coverage for the leadership they exhibited by taking this international challenge.

Data from the pilot, coupled with new analyses of math and science data disaggregated by economic and social advantage from the 2009 PISA, suggest that the need for improvement in U.S. education extends deeply into the middle class.

The results of the pilot also showed that some U.S. schools defied expectations, outperforming the average results of every country in the world that participated in the 2009 PISA. Woodson High School in Virginia and BASIS Tucson North in Arizona fell into this category.

The development of this new diagnostic tool by the OECD was made possible by America Achieves, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carnegie Corporation of New York, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Kern Family Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Craig and Barbara Barrett Foundation, National Public Education Support Fund, the Stuart Foundation, and the Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona.


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