As we mentioned in a recent blog post, Battelle for Kids recently hosted their Global Education Conference in Columbus, which featured the release of their study on the “Six Drivers of Student Success” while also highlighting five of the world’s highest-performing school systems. The summit fostered discussion and examined new ways to innovate education not only in Ohio, but across the U.S.
The program featured presentations from administrative and school leaders from Ontario, Canada; Singapore; Finland; Hong Kong; and Long Beach, California and highlighted these six areas:
- Early Learning
- Personalized Pathways for Student Success
- Teacher Selectivity, Quality and Growth
- Focus on Learning
- Education Linked to Economic Development
- Cultural Expectation of Value
The featured school systems have distinguished themselves in all of these areas, but below we focus on just one of the areas from each of the five school systems that can help serve as a road-map for Ohio to follow for student success.
Early Learning – Singapore
It is well documented that socioeconomic status has a major influence on achievement for students. While most preschools in Singapore, like the U.S., are privately funded, the government does provide funding to schools with low-income students. Singapore identifies families in need and provides a range of support during early learning years with intensive, daily systematic interventions beginning in first grade. Singapore’s system also features a flexible system that values and channels funds and resources to low-achieving students.
Personalized Pathways for Student Success – Ontario & Hong Kong
Ontario strives to provide more engaging and relevant secondary paths to ensure that 85 percent of students graduate within five years of starting secondary studies, beginning with personalized pathways to support transitions from grades seven to eight and grades eight to nine.
This system also encourage adults, ages 20-40, to continue their education, which is viewed as essential for the country’s economy and the social well-being of the individuals and their communities. These programs are often in the form of public/private partnerships to provide greater access and better coordination from job training, higher education, citizenship and immigration.
Financial resources are generally allocated based on the needs of the student. As a result, those students with the greatest need get the help from the best possible teachers. These students can also benefit from more time to help with their studies – after school, weekends and in the summer – which is viewed as essential to reduce student performance gaps.
Hong Kong’s student-based, personalized learning system keeps track of every student with embedded assessment for learning a daily routine while emphasizing personal growth and character development. All teachers teach the core curriculum, but have the leeway to craft the best lessons supporting the core curriculum to meet the needs of each child.
Teacher Selectivity, Quality & Growth – Finland
The old adage goes, those who can, do; those who can’t teach. Each of the countries featured during this program demonstrate that nothing could be further from the truth.
High-performing school systems have a very clear focus on identifying the best and brightest teachers for their classrooms. Finland is highly selective, and draws from the top 10 percent of college graduates for teaching positions. The Fins compensate teachers at a rate that is comparable to other high-profile professions and comes with high prestige given the highly selective pool of applicants they draw from.
Focus on Learning – Long Beach
Studies show that good test results are the result of helping students own and master their own learning skills. This is why Long Beach works with students to help set their own learning goals and performance targets. Each student receives a combination of large group, small group and individualized instruction, as well as interventions when necessary. Students then have the opportunity to discover what method of learning best fits their unique individual needs and focus their efforts on that area. This process allows them to develop the necessary skills to become high-performing students.