The 2006 Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) results was released to an international audience by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the early hours of December 4 in Paris. At the National Press Club in Washington DC, Andreas Schleicher, Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division at OECD's Directorate for Education and PISA's chief architect and director, presented the results of the OECD study, including performance results in reading, mathematics, and science; with a special focus on students' attitudes towards science; and an analysis of the common elements of high performing education systems.
PISA is one of the few mechanisms for regularly and directly comparing the quality of educational outcomes in the countries that make up almost 90 percent of the world's economy. PISA measures the capacity of 15-year-old students in OECD countries to apply what they've learned in the classroom in order to analyze, reason, and communicate effectively. Past PISA results have shown that the U.S. position in international education rankings is declining and America's future workforce is falling behind that of other nations.
The major technological, economic, and demographic changes our society faces have ignited an awareness of the need to increase "America's competitiveness." If America is to improve its capacity to compete in the global knowledge economy, it must equip its education system with the ability to meet the fast-growing demand for high-level skills. The lessons learned from the PISA results and the OECD analysis of education systems across the globe can, and should, be used to inform American education policy so that our students graduate from high school ready to compete, thrive, and lead in the 21st century global economy.- Asia Society
Raymond C. Scheppach
Ray Scheppach has led NGA since 1983. As Executive Director he oversees day-to-day operations of NGA, managing all aspects of the association and the NGA Center for Best Practices. Ray also facilitates the association's efforts to achieve the three major missions of producing information and analysis of state innovations and practices, creating a bipartisan forum for governors to establish and implement policy on federal issues and assisting governors in managing state government.
Andreas Schleicher is head of the Indicators and Analysis Division (Directorate for Education) at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He also holds a professorship at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
As division head at OECD, his responsibilities include directing the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Indicators of Education Systems programme (INES) and steering the development of new projects such as the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) and the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). At OECD, Mr. Schleicher has also held the posts of deputy head of the Statistics and Indicators Division in the former Directorate for Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (1997–2002) and Project Manager in the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) (1994–1996).
Before joining the OECD, he served as director for analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA) within the Institute for Educational Research in the Netherlands (1993–1994) and international coordinator for the IEA Reading Literacy Study, at the University of Hamburg, Germany (1989–1992).
In 2003, Mr. Schleicher was awarded the "Theodor Heuss" prize, named after the first president of the German Federal Republic of Germany, for "exemplary democratic engagement" in association with the public debate on PISA. He also holds an honorary professorship at the University of Heidelberg. In 2002, he was awarded the "educación y libertad en el ámbito educativo" prize by the Spanish national association of private schools. Mr. Schleicher earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in mathematics from Deakin University in Australia, where his master’s thesis received the Bruce Choppin Award.
Vivien Stewart is Vice President for Education at Asia Society. She is responsible for Asia Society’s programs to promote the study of Asia and other world regions, cultures, languages, and global issues in America’s schools and for building connections between U.S. and Asian education leaders.
Susan Traiman is Director of Education and Workforce Policy at Business Roundtable. She oversees the Roundtable's activities for chief executive officers of leading corporations interested in improving education performance and workforce competitiveness in the United States. Recently cited as "the most influential chief executive lobbying group in the U.S." by the Financial Times, Business Roundtable members are at the forefront of public policy, advocating for a vigorous, dynamic global economy.
Prior to joining the Business Roundtable, Ms. Traiman was Education Policies Studies Director at the National Governors Association (NGA) where she coordinated assistance to governors in developing and implementing systemic education reform strategies. At the NGA, she participated in planning the 1989 National Education Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia and the subsequent development of National Education Goals. Ms. Traiman was a senior associate with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement and served on the staff of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, contributing to the development of its landmark 1983 report, A Nation at Risk.
Ms. Traiman came to Washington, D.C. from New Jersey where she was a teacher and a consultant at a regional service center of the New Jersey Department of Education. She has a B.A. in American Civilization and M.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Governor Bob Wise became president of the Alliance for Excellent Education in February 2005. Under his leadership, the Alliance has continued to build its reputation as a respected authority on high school policy and to advocate for reform in America’s secondary education system, working to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared for success.
Since joining the Alliance, Governor Wise has become a sought-after speaker and advisor on education issues. He has advised the U.S. Department of Education and frequently testifies before the U.S. Congress.