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. To better prepare our youth for a more demanding environment, America Achieves is cultivating a professional learning community of well-respected educators and district leaders, formally known as the Global Learning Network (GLN). These individuals have taken the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA), are learning from their results and global best practices, and making practice shifts that contribute to improved student outcomes.
The Global Learning Network was successfully piloted in 2013-2014 and will formally launch in September 2014 at our Convening of World-Leading Schools in Washington, DC.
Global Learning Network Activities
Global Learning Network members will learn from experts and peer practitioners through one in-person convening, monthly virtual convenings, and regional meetings facilitated by America Achieves. These events are designed with the participant in mind, providing tools that encourage dialogue about practice and policy shifts that contribute to improved student outcomes, data-driven decision-making, and sharing results among stakeholders. America Achieves also works with partner schools and districts to document best practices within GLN schools and to secure media attention for GLN schools and districts that are leveraging their OECD Test for Schools results to make practice shifts that contribute to improved student outcomes.
Schools and districts across the nation are invited to join the GLN through participation in the OECD Test for Schools (based on the internationally respected PISA exam). This exam enables individual high schools to benchmark their students’ performance against that of their international peers. It is a unique assessment that measures students’ critical-thinking and problem-solving skills and gathers information about student attitudes toward learning and perceptions of the school environment. America Achieves partnered with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to pilot this unique tool for learning in 2012 and discovered that pilot participants found the 100-plus page, rich reports that schools receive about their results to be incredibly valuable. The OECD Test for Schools is now available to every high school in America, with more than 600 U.S. based and international participant schools having administered the test to date. These participants are leveraging their results to inform and improve school-level practices across rural, suburban, and urban districts.
The resources below provide useful information regarding the OECD Test for Schools:
- International Benchmarking. Allows individual schools to compare themselves to high-performing schools and systems worldwide.
- 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.
If you would like to request a subsidy to administer the OECD Test for Schools during the 2014-15 school year, you may do so through our online application.
In 2012, America Achieves collaborated with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to pilot the OECD Test for Schools with more than 100 U.S schools. 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. Learn what pilot participants say about their experience and watch a webinar, featuring a pilot participant encouraging others to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
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.
- Exam asks students to apply critical thinking skills to real-life situations, PBS NewsHour
- Quietly, a New Test Gains Advocates, Alexander Russo, Harvard Education Letter
- Learning from a Test, Jack Dale, Education Week
- Our schools should play on a world stage, Renee Foose, Baltimore Sun
- What the New PISA Study Means for Our Communities, Jon Schnur, NBC News
- Is your high school preparing students for the world ahead? GreatSchools OECD Test for Schools Website
- Bloomberg Radio Interview
- My Little (Global) School