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Is PISA fit for purpose?

I've just come across this article on the Talking Up Scotland 2 site. It's well worth a read in particular when you take into account that the MSM are using the results of this form of testing to compare the Scottish educational system to Englands. I've also read that many English schools focus on teaching towards PISA outcomes to ensure that their pupils perform well. Is it time for countries worldwide to ban the use of such a form of testing or should we adopt the English "technique" north of the border?


Long Read: PISA and it's 'Scottish' supporters comprehensively demolished


I am not sure about the extent to which English schools teach to the PISA tests.  Schooling in England has become so fragmented - academy schools, free schools, grant maintained schools and zombie schools.  In each PISA exercise around 440 selected schools in the UK take part - 100 or so from each of the home nations - and around 14,000 15 year olds. I think the English Schools are more interested in their GCSE and A-level results than concentrating on PISA because it is the A-level and GCSE results that will determine their funding to a greater or lesser extent.

Wales announced a two or three years ago that they were going to concentrate on improving their PISA scores.  The idea was not met with universal acclaim and was eventually dropped.  Countries such as South Korea which have high PISA scores achieve these scores at a price and that price is often paid by the school pupils.  One of the main causes of death in teenagers in South Korea is suicide.  I think they are starting to rethink their concentration on PISA.

This is a link to a BBC programme from 3 years ago in which 3 secondary school pupils from Wales went to South Korea and attended school there.  Quite an eye-opener.  It may have contributed to the decision by Wales to drop the idea of concentrating on PISA scores.





Thanks for the link, I enjoyed watching that. Glad that my children went through the Scottish system rather than the South Korean, I doubt anything remotely like that could ever work here.

An excellent synopsis, which beyond conflicting professional opinions over PISA, skewers the duplicity of politicians with Schrodinger conclusions, and amply demonstrates wilful misreporting. For Scotland's media, naked political strategies rather than balanced reporting of factual news are beyond any reasonable debate.

When you distort perceptions of statistics, lies and damned lies follow.

It's a great pity that the vast majority of people in the UK have no idea of the views of academics, and so on, in relation to the ramifications of Pisa testing, rather just accept the simplistic guff and bluff being reported on Scottish results versus English. 


England's "odd" Pisa data.


In the last 3 paragraphs or so of that report they change from 'England' to 'UK'.  Another example of trying to hide the facts by suggesting that the drop in participation is UK wide farther than mainly, solely(?) England.

I am not really surprised at the fall off in participation by English schools.  Firstly the fragmentation of the schools in England and secondly the pressure to get results in GCSEs and A-levels because that affects their funding probably means they are reluctant to take part.


Forum for discussion of Scottish independence and a second independence referendum.