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Polemica negli Stati Uniti sulle penuria o meno di specialisti nelle materie scientifiche, ingegneri compresi,avallata dai dati PISA. Parecchie testimonianze di fronte al sottocomitato per la tecnologia e l’industria del Senato americano hanno contestato la diagnosi della penuria.

Ne riferisce Gerald Bracey nella rubrica "Research" del No.7, marzo 2008 della rivista "Phi Delta Kappan" (p.537).

Bracey sostiene che " PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) is not an apples-to-apples comparison. It tests 10th-graders. Or does it? All of Japan’s sample was in 10th grade, while in Nor- way and Korea, 98% of those tested were. Only 61% of the American sample was in 10th grade, with most of the rest being in ninth grade or lower. According to the Organisation or Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which sponsors PISA, one year corresponds to about 41 points. So how does one com- pare the average scores of Japan (534), Korea (542), and Norway (495), where nearly all students were in the 10th grade, with the average score of the U.S. (483), where over one-third of the tested kids were below 10th grade by at least a year? "

Bracey si basa sui dati prodotti da una ricerca di Lowell e Salzman dell’Urban Institute (Washington D.C.) che rende comparabili i dati di PISA e che confuta l’opinione del ritardo americano e quindi la presenza di una penuria critica di personale scientifico qualificato negli Stati Uniti:

Into the Eye of the Storm: Assessing the Evidence on Science and Engineering Education, Quality, and Workforce Demand (Research Report) Posted to Web: October 29, 2007

Recent policy reports claim the United States is falling behind other nations in science and math education and graduating insufficient numbers of scientists and engineers. Review of the evidence and analysis of actual graduation rates and workforce needs does not find support for these claims. U.S. student performance rankings are comparable to other leading nations and colleges graduate far more scientists and engineers than are hired each year. Instead, the evidence suggests targeted education improvements are needed for the lowest performers and demand-side factors may be insufficient to attract qualified college graduates. Publication Date: October 29, 2007

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