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Shanghai and Hong Kong: Two Distinct Examples of Education Reform in China in the publication, OECD (2010), Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States – OCDE 2010
One interesting strategy employed by Shanghai to improve weak schools is the commissioned education program. Under this scheme, top performing schools are assigned a weak school to administer. The “good” school will send a team of teachers and a principal to lead the school and improve it. This has been happening within the city but also as a type of exchange program with poor rural schools. Such a system assists the poor schools and benefits Shanghai schools by allowing them to promote teachers and administrators. In both Shanghai and Hong Kong, there is a clear awareness that education needs to transform to keep pace with the rate of change in society – and not just current change, but a conscious effort has been made to take into account the future of society, the economy, and education. This forward thinking mindset should influence the United States as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the law governing primary and secondary education, as the ten year old is about to be reauthorized.