PISA results demonstrate district’s ability to compete globally

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Several of the schools at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center recently received their PISA, or Programme for International Student Assessment, scores. The exam measures student literacy among 15-year-olds in math, science and reading.

Townview’s School of Science and Engineering, Judge Barefoot Sanders Magnet Center for Public Service: Government, Law and Law Enforcement, the Rosie Sorrells School of Education and Social Services, and the School of Business and Management students participated in the spring 2014 administration of the exam, which is only given every three years.

Law Magnet principal Enedina Townsend calls PISA a metric of cross-curricular competency that evaluates students’ preparedness for real life problem solving by measuring students’ ability to apply their knowledge.

All four schools performed higher than the national average as compared with students in China, Poland, Finland, Japan and Korea. The exam assessed students from 300 schools in 64 countries.

“PISA as a global assessment that shows each principal how well students are performing against students in other countries, “ said School of Business and Marketing Principal Michele Broughton. “So far, the four Townview schools are closing the achievement gap by offering rigorous AP courses and certification programs that challenge students to think critically and apply their learning to real world situations.”

Broughton, along with the other Townview principals whose schools participated in the exam said their staffs focus is preparing students for the global marketplace.

“Our truest competition exists in other parts of the world and challenges us to be better,” said Broughton.

School of Science and Engineering Principal Tiffany Huitt’s SEM students’ participation and scores “significantly improved,” since the HL_Huitt PISAschool’s first PISA exam participation. Huitt presented to the America Achieves Convening of World School Leaders Conference, an event that operates in collaboration with PISA, September 29, in Washington D.C., SEM’s mathematics program structure, successful mathematics practices, and Dallas ISD’s best practices such as the Teacher Evaluation Initiative and the new principal evaluation system.

“Over and over again, we heard there must be a focus on quality instruction and a conceptual understanding of the content to increase student achievement,” said Huitt. “So much of the work we are doing in Dallas is exactly what successful and high scoring school systems are doing all over the world.”

Huitt believes the students’ participation in this exam has provided additional perspective on areas of growth as well as leverage points to help prepare Dallas ISD students for global competition and college-readiness while providing insight on the work necessary to continue improving instructional practices despite her students’ success on the PISA exam.

Dr. Sheila Brown, principal of the Rosie Sorrells School of Education and Social Services, said it was an honor to be part of the Global Learning Network Conference.

“Utilizing the data driven results that PISA provides will give our students an opportunity to move beyond the sphere of being nationally results oriented to becoming more globally focused. That will, in time, make a great impact on our world’s economic globalization,” said Brown.

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