T&L Advisor Guest post — Carl Hooker, Director of Instructional Technology, Eanes Independent School District:
The 2012 PISA results are now public and according to Arne Duncan, we remain in a state of educational stagnation. So what do these results tell us and what do we need to change? As in international tests done over the past several decades, we continue to fail to rank in the top 10 of any country when it comes to math, reading or science. In fact, we didn't even make the top 20 in any of those categories this past year. Yet we continue to lament over these results over and over again expecting a change. As former Tech Forum Keynoter Dr. Yong Zhao has brought up in his book and several speeches, despite our continual failures on international benchmarks in the core subject areas, we still stand head and shoulders above all other countries when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. So what does it all mean? My two cents: these measurements are antiquated. While they still drive much of the media discussion, they no longer focus on what it means to "excel" in education and life. Like the folks at Partnership for 21st Century Skills have mentioned, until there is an assessment that pulls in soft skills like the 4Cs coupled with higher order thinking skills, the PISA results are not only useless, they are pointless. What's the definition of insanity again?