This chapter talked about the author visiting schools. He would go into the classroom with other school officials (principals, superintendents, etc..) and observe the classroom. The majority of the classrooms visited had lecture based lessons. The group observed that most teachers were teaching the content and not skills. Most teachers were preparing students to do well on the standards based tests.
The only classroom that differed from all the other classrooms visited was an algebra II class.
- had the students divided into groups
- introduced a new type of problem
- told the students they will need to use algebra and geometry to solve the problem
- told the students they needed to solve the problem in two ways
- told the students he would randomly choose a person from each group to explain
Advice on how to do better on standardized tests was given to a school district. " Using the data you can identify and focus on kids who are close to passing. The bubble kids. Those are the ones who can pass with a little extra help. They'll give you the biggest return on your investment." (The Global Achievement Gap, 73).
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) gave a test in 2003. This test focused on critical thinking and problem solving. The United States scored 29th out of 41 countries. Then the book talked about United States graduates loosing jobs to people in other countries because they don't have critical thinking skills.
Basically the majority of the United States' teachers are teaching to the standardized tests. Many other countries are preparing their students for the workforce by teaching them how to think not how to memorize facts.