International Assessment: What's the PISA All About? (page 2)

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Updated on May 27, 2014

What Can We Do?

Justin Stone, an AFT Associate in Educational Issues, has pointed out that in many cultures, teaching is a revered position, and that improving the academic achievement of American students starts with a higher degree of respect for our teachers.

Data collected from PISA have made similar conclusions. Findings taken from PISA “suggest that systems prioritizing higher teacher’s salaries over smaller classes tend to perform better”; which coincides with research that shows raising teacher quality is more effective to improving student outcomes than creating smaller classes is.

Research has also shown parent involvement increases the achievement outcomes of students.

There are steps we can take right away to support local communities, our students and schools:

  1. Make a donation. Donating time, money or supplies to your school doesn't have to be a huge production. Sometimes even the smallest contribution can make a huge difference. There are tons of programs out there that make it easy for you to give to your school. helps public school teachers get projects off the ground. From beakers for experiments to guitars for a school recital, teachers can list specifics to get the supplies they need in order to give their students better learning experiences.
  2. Rock your vote! Don't underestimate the power of your vote, especially when it comes to local measures. Find out what your local governments have on tap when it comes to education. Take a look at the measures and propositions being discussed in your community, as well as on a state and national level, and decide what your stance is. Then when it comes time to cast your ballot, you'll make an impact with your vote.
  3. Volunteer. Parent and community involvement makes a school and its students a success story. Volunteer to read stories, tutor or mentor, at a school, library or simply devoting a little more attention to your child’s study time. If your child is an outstanding student in a certain subject, encourage him to put in some of his own volunteering time. A little time goes a long way.

 For more information about the PISA, visit the website.

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