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Academic Achievement Studied

Comparison of Academic Achievement in Virginia with Leading Industrialized Countries

Patricia PoppThe Virginia General Assembly's Commission on Youth, at its April 5, 2011 meeting, approved a two-year plan to study how Virginia students compare academically to students in top tier countries around the world. The Commission on Youth contracted with Drs. Patricia Popp and James Stronge at the School of Education to lead this study and identify positive educational policies and practices in top performing countries for further study to determine the feasibility of adoption by Virginia. This study originated from legislation introduced during the 2011 General Assembly Session by Senator Yvonne B. Miller (Senate Joint Resolution 320).

Most recently, Clinical Associate Professor Patricia Popp's presentation to the General Assembly's Commission on Youth was broadcast on the American University Radio system on May 12, 2012. Dr. Popp's presentation identified features in the education systems of selected countries which rank among the highest on international assessments that explain and support academic success.

Drs. Popp and Stronge have completed the study activities in the Year 1 plan. With the assistance of Dr. Xianxuan Xu, Research Associate in the School of Education, and Auggy Kang, doctoral student, the international comparison report was developed based on findings from an extensive literature review. This report highlights attributes of top educational systems around the world, including Canada, Finland, Singapore, Shanghai in China, and South Korea.  

Year 2 of the study plan calls for the creation of a diverse workgroup to explore the policies and practices identified in the report and develop recommendations for implementation of those attributes deemed most appropriate and meaningful for Virginia. Drs. Popp and Stronge will continue the collaboration with the Virginia Commission on Youth for this second phase of the project. An advisory group, which consists of representatives from various stakeholder groups and members of the Virginia General Assembly, will be meeting for a roundtable discussion on June 26 at the Capitol to identify international/national best practices that can be adopted in Virginia.

Link to American University Radio