"Unlike in previous generations, there are few good employment opportunities left for poorly educated young people. The countries that understand this shift and manage to run education systems preparing all of their young people for this future...will win the global economic race. More importantly, they will have fewer human casualties left behind."
Teach For All Co-Founder and CEO of network partner Teach First, Brett Wigdortz, shared his thoughts on the implications of the 2012 PISA results in The Guardian, emphasizing that in the 21st century, providing a high-quality education for its citizens is more crucial to a nations' economic welfare than ever before. There is much that can be learned from the methods and policies of PISA leader Shanghai, including those that prioritize teacher support and development, Wigdortz explains. But, he cautions, if education and policy leaders focus only on Shanghai and the other Asian countries that top the rankings, they'll miss the lessons of other nations, such as Canada, whose educations systems have made great progress.
"What the highest-performing systems have in common with Shanghai and elsewhere are a few clear things," Wigdortz writes, "high expectations of their pupils, regardless of their background; excellent quality teachers and school leadership; constant and high-quality training for the professionals in schools; and excellent parental involvement."