Originally posted on TED Blog:

Andreas Schleicher

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“Learning is not a place, it’s an activity,” says Andreas Schleicher. He heads up the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, also known as PISA, and he’s here to make the case that international comparisons of education systems can help to raise the global bar for students and learning.

First, some history, and a needed lesson for the Americans in the audience. Whereas in the 1960s the United States was number one in international education, some countries in the world had caught up by the 1970s, even more by the 1980s … and the trendline hasn’t shifted since. Now, it’s countries such as Korea that are showing what’s possible in education. “Two generations ago, Korea had the standard of living of Afghanistan,” says Schleicher. “Today every young Korean person finishes high school.”

One of the issues in measuring education is to think about the metrics for…

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