Another Look at PISA
Suspect this response by Dr Diane Ravitch, New York University, is true for BC as well ... it's not simply the erosion of investment in resources and specialist teachers but the persistent failure to remediate the negative effects of poverty for children that so dramatically impacts academic success.
Also, thanks Elly for bringing this this amazing TED talk by Indian educator Sugata Mitra to my attention. It's 17 minutes that will make you laugh AND think:
Mitra begins by noting that the best teachers don't go, and the best schools don't exist, where they are most needed. Further, any teacher who can be replaced by a machine should be! Based on the simple concept that children -- regardless of their socio-economic status -- learn what they want to learn, supported by Arthur C. Clarke's thinking that education happens when children have interest, Mitra puts a single computer into a collaborative "discovery" environment and leaves the children to their own devices ... with astounding results. Do take your prep to check this out for the New-Year inspiration you may be looking for. The Future of Learning for 1 billion children, predicts Mitra, will be dramatically reformed with 100 million mediators, like the grannies, 10 million self-organizing learning environments (SOLEs), 180 billion dollars, and 10 years. Bring on The Granny Cloud!