Amanda Ripley


The Olympics of Smarts

Christmas came early this year. The new PISA results are out. (PISA = a relatively sophisticated test of critical thinking administered to half a million 15 year-olds every three years in 65 countries.) This year is especially intriguing for the US because the focus is on math—our biggest weakness.

So I’ve been hunkered down, reading through the 3,000 pages of analysis and data—which go far beyond what you read in the headlines—to see what we can learn.

4th Dec 2013 in Education

Are International Comparisons Unfair?

As I travel around the country talking to people about The Smartest Kids, I keep running into the same objection: "Other countries only test some of their kids; we test all of our kids"...

19th Sep 2013 in Education

The 14 y.o. Who Inspired Me to Leave the Country

The boy who inspired me to leave the country was named Wilfried Hounyo. I met him while reporting in DC public schools for Time a few years ago. Wilfried's parents had recently moved him and his four brothers and sisters to the U.S. from Benin, a tiny country in West Africa, so that the children could get a better education and have a brighter future.

15th Aug 2013 in Education

The $4 Million Teacher

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher—a combination of words not typically heard in the rest of the world.

4th Aug 2013 in Education

Surviving a Plane Crash

Planes almost never crash. When they do, most passengers survive. In this way, at least, the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was no exception. 

7th Jul 2013 in Disaster Behavior

Tracking Around the World

Grouping kids by ability is back, according to the New York Times. So why are other countries headed in the opposite direction?

10th Jun 2013 in Education

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