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10/9/2013 6:00:00 AM
Find out how to have the smartest kid in the world
Rosita Smith
Palo Verde District Library

BLYTHE - "The only way to get smart is to work hard and to learn well", states Amanda Ripley in her new book, The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way.

In the spring of 2000 a third of a million teenagers in 43 countries sat down for two hours and took a test unlike any they had ever seen. This strange, new test was called PISA which stood for the Program for International Student Assessment. Designed by Andreas Schleicher, it was devised to measure the kind of advanced thinking and communication skills that people need to flourish in our modern world. An example: instead of telling the student to mark in the test book the printed coins necessary to make a purchase, it asked the test-taker to use critical thinking skills to design, right in the test book, a coin or coins that could be used to make the transaction.

There is a chart out there referred to as "The Dance of the Nations" or "The Treasure Map" - that would blow your mind away. It graphs where various nations stand in relationship to critical thinking skills. The vast majority of all nations did not manage to educate its children to high standards. The United States graphed in at 480, third from the bottom, while Finland, at 550, is on the top of the chart.

Ripley traveled the globe gathering information on the educational practices from around the world. She shares her findings with the reader through the eyes of three exchange students who studied abroad for a year: Kim from Oklahoma who chose to go to Finland; Eric who left Minnesota to study in South Korea; and Tom, from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, who lost face the first day in class because he could not solve a critical-thinking math problem.

Ripley analyzes the various layers of education in America and notes that extracurricular activities and sports take front seat to critical thinking in many school districts in the United States.

Things have changed; teaching is becoming more rigorous. Parents are focusing on things that matter and children have been brought into the promise of a better education. The Smartest Kids in the World gives you a road map as to which direction our educational system is going.

Educators and parents alike will find thoughtful insight throughout The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way.

Available at the Palo Verde Valley Library in Blythe, Calif. you can find The Smartest Kids in the World in the new non-fiction section under 370.9 RIP.

Library hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m; 125 W. Chanslorway, Blythe, 760-922-5371.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Article comment by: Joe Ryan

Wake UP! Andreas and his set are not on our side or your childrens by a long shot.

Andreas works as a Director at OCED. Here's a little quote from a recent article about OCED

Headquartered in a former Rothschild chateau in an affluent Parisian neighborhood, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is best known for earnest conferences on economic and social policy.

With little outside attention, it also plays a pivotal role enabling global corporations such as Google Inc. (GOOG), Hewlett- Packard Co. and Inc (AMZN). to dodge taxes by shifting profits into offshore subsidiaries, costing the U.S. and Europe more than $100 billion a year.

A quasi-governmental body that helps some of the world’s biggest economies set tax policy, the OECD writes guidelines letting companies avoid taxes by moving income into tax havens

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