"We have far more to gain from collaborating to solve our common problems than competing for higher rankings."
In response to the flurry of media stories pitting one nation’s education system against another’s that surrounded the release of the 2012 PISA results this week, Teach For All Co-Founder and CEO Wendy Kopp calls on education leaders to think of each other as collaborators rather than winners and losers. In an op-ed published in today’s Wall Street Journal, Kopp reflects on the network leaders’ recent visit to Shanghai—the city that topped the rankings on both the 2009 and 2012 surveys—where the government was able to turn an average education system into an exemplary one in less than a decade, in part by studying best practices from around the world.
“The first step to ‘beating’ our competition is to stop thinking of them as the competition,” Kopp writes. Countries like the US that showed few gains or saw below average results, she advises, should “ask how [they] can emulate other countries' success rather than envy it.”