PISA performance opens discussion on educating diverse demographics

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Students at the School of Science and Engineering Magnet at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center outperformed every participating country in mathematics and reading and scored only second to Shang Hai in Science on the 2014 PISA, or Programme for International Student Assessment, scores. The exam measures student literacy among 15-year-olds in math, science and reading.

Principal Tiffany Huitt noted her students’ performance among a demographic that is 83 percent black and Hispanic and 65 percent SES, which piqued the international learning community’s interest regarding the SEM’s instructional practices in breeding academically competitive scholars.

RELATED STORIES: PISA results demonstrate district’s ability to compete globally.

In a presentation on SEM’s instructional best practices to the America Achieves Convening of World Schools Leaders conference held Sept. 29 in Washington D.C., Huitt said the feedback she received from world educators was that “Dallas (Independent School District) is on the right track.”

“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,” Huitt wrote in an e-mail to Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles regarding her experience at the conference. “So much of the work we are doing in Dallas is exactly what successful and high scoring schools systems are doing all over the world.”

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