Drivers of student performance: insights from North America

Author(s): Byrant, Jake; Dorn, Emma; Krawitz, Marc; Kihn, Paul; Mourshed, Mona; Sarakatsannis, Jimmy

Organisation(s): McKinsey and Company

Date: 2017

Pages: 58 p.

Policy makers, educators, and parents across North America want to raise a generation of students who can thrive amid the relentless change wrought by technology and globalization. Yet improving educational outcomes has proved elusive. Some countries, states, and municipalities have made great strides, but many continue to struggle. Educators continue to debate what matters and what works. In this report, we take a data-driven approach to consider a few of the most active debates in North America today: around mindsets, teaching practices, the length of the school day, and early childhood education. Our data comes from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Since 2000, the OECD has regularly tested 15-year-olds around the world on mathematics, reading, and science. The most recent assessment in 2015 covered more than half a million students across 72 countries including nearly 30,000 students in North America.

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