Q) How did Shanghai students, participating in a high-profile international exam for the first time, able to land at the top of the math, reading and science rankings? A) An obsession with test taking, to the exclusion of a lot of other things. Diane Ravitch and Yong Zhao explain.
Reaction in the United States to the PISA results -- in which American 15 year olds scored essentially average in reading, math and science -- was swift, sharp, and perhaps hysterical. But it missed the big point: No Child Left Behind didn't do anything to improve things.