The Day of PISA

The embargo has been removed and the politico-media landscape is awash with talk of how New Zealand has dropped fallen plummeted down an international education league table.

Now if you take out the fact that the number of countries being tested has risen from 40-odd in 2000 to 64 in 2012 increasing the chances of New Zealand falling or stagnating, or the fact that it must be almost impossible to test the literacy abilities of so many nations who speak so many languages, or that fact that some countries may fudge their data by not releasing test results from poor performing areas, or that the hard-working statisticians collating the test results have to calculate some test answers from “plausible values” because, for whatever reason, the questions were unanswered and needed to be for statistical purposes, or the fact that a test is in no way representative of the creative nature of the real world workplace so what is the point of even participating in PISA in the first place, these results are very, very startling and we should all be incredibly worried that our teachers are terrible, our children are stupid and nobody knows how to solve the problem. Except, maybe, with another test.

Mr B.

Sources: 

PISA 2000 results: OECD, 2001.

PISA 2012 results: OECD, 2003.

Don’t let PISA league tables dictate schooling: Observer (Guardian), Sunday December 1, 2013.

Rough and Ready Reflection on PISA test results: The Daily Blog, Wednesday December 6, 2013.

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