Legislators take global look at education

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — When you are trying to improve, it often helps to study the best.

In public education, that road leads to China’s largest and richest city, Shanghai.

In 2009, students from the Shanghai school system surprised the world by scoring first in all three categories math, science and reading of the PISA exam, the key international assessment of student performance. The Programme for International Student Assessment is given to 15-year-olds every three years, and the kids from Shanghai ran the table again in 2012.

The United States, by the way, finished 36th in math, 28th in science and 24th in reading. Some argue that the rankings are flawed because the U.S. statistics reflect the performance of students collectively, rather than city by city as in China, but there is little question that the achievement in Shanghai is remarkable.

A national delegation of state legislators, including local state Sen. Robert Plymale, will get to see that first hand, when they visit schools there starting this week…

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