Kazakh stats can't be taken at face value

22nd April 2011 at 01:00

John Howson makes an error when he assumes that 93 per cent of students in Kazakhstan read for enjoyment just because they say they do when filling in Pisa questionnaires ("Languishing below Pisa average, UK doesn't follow script", TES Magazine, 15 April).

My hypothesis is that students in more liberal education systems (for example, the US, the UK and Scandinavia) are far more likely to "tell it as it is" than those in societies where it is generally safer to give the authorities the answers they expect.

George Bethell, Director, Anglia Assessment, Stowmarket, Suffolk.

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