PISA politics

| August 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Almost all of the countries that routinely participate in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings have recently called the latest results into question.

In May, 100 education experts expressed concern about PISA’s methods and findings in an open letter to OECD PISA chief, Andreas Schleicher.

The signatories from New Zealand to Shanghai pointed out that PISA results have a significant impact on education policy direction in many countries, and therefore on social and economic development in those countries.

But there are blatant discrepancies between PISA results and other major research findings, and flagrant sampling flaws within the PISA reports themselves, says one of its loudest critics, Yong Zhao, a respected professor of education at the University of Oregon in the United States (US).

Zhao has gained global acclaim for his recent series of articles that point to PISA problems. Says Zhao, PISA rankings simply cannot tell the entire story of a country’s state of education. “The entire PISA enterprise has been designed to capitalise on the intense nationalistic concern for global competitiveness by inducing strong emotional responses from the unsuspecting public, gullible politicians and sensation-seeking media. Virtually all PISA products, particularly its signature product – the league tables – are intended to show winners and losers, in not only educational policies and practices of the past, but more important, in capacity for global competition in the future,” said Zhao.

Category: Spring 2014

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