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The following article appeared in Left Business Observer #133, August 2011. Copyright 2011, Left Business Observer. It’s part of a series on education. Other articles include: Do charter schools work? If so, for whom?explaining test scoreseducation spending & enrollment: U.S. not so good

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The latest take on what’s wrong with our schools

Though pundits and politicians bewail the state of American education, they show a lack of interest in how things are done elsewhere. Here’s an attempt to fill that gap.

Since 2000, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Paris-based official think tank mainly sponsored by the world’s rich countries, has been administering a battery of of internationally comparable tests every three years. Known as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), it measures achievement in reading, math, and science among 15-year olds in 34 OECD me