The global achievement gap
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Dr Tony Wagner

Wagner argues the main problem with secondary education in the US is the obsession with testing. George Bush’s 'No Child Left Behind' policy has led to a perpetual fear of low scores, and to avoid them, high schools put students through a barrage of tests, aimed more at improving scores than learning. Drawing on expertise from academia and business, Wagner looks at the problems of obsessive testing and laments schools inability to teach critical thinking.

In the 21st century, mastery of the basic skills of reading, writing, and maths is no longer enough he concludes: pupils must also be able to solve a range of intellectual and technical problems.

Arguing that we must discover new ways of thinking about education and best practices in schools that prepare pupils for learning, work, and citizenship in an increasingly competitive global economy, Wagner writes: “To fail to give all students these new skills leaves today’s youth – and our country – at an alarming competitive disadvantage. Schools haven’t changed; the world has. And so our schools, then, are not failing. They are obsolete-even the ones that score the best on standardized tests-which is a very different problem requiring an altogether different solution.”

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Dr Tony Wagner

Published by:
Basic Books

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Though written from a North American prospective, Wagner's book will interest those concerned with the development of curricula, and how schooling can prepare pupils for the workplace. 


Record ID:
R006 / 326
Link to research:
The global achievement gap

Author(s) biog(s):
Dr Tony Wagner

Associated coverage:
GlobalEd, Huffington Post

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