Pisa divides opinions

9th August 2013 at 01:00

Andreas Schleicher's defence of Pisa is welcome as it enables several accepted myths to be publicly aired.

Mr Schleicher states that "any assessment ... will have some uncertainty". Practitioners, researchers and academics in the field are all aware of this. However, hasn't he forgotten to explain this to the politicians? Students and teachers in many countries are suffering from restricted, test-based curricula because ministers are basing their policy on the Pisa metric.

He also relates the astonishing fact that the way in which teachers and schools teach topics varies. Even a newly qualified teacher would find that condescending. The blustering continues with the assertion that Pisa will provide "robust comparisons of the performance of education systems in ways that reflect any remaining uncertainty". No, sorry, Mr Schleicher: that is called good teaching and learning based on sound classroom assessment, differentiated teaching and the sensitive development of learner autonomy. That is where our education budget should be focused, not on fanciful comparisons designed to feed the lucrative test-development industry.

Professor Bill Boyle, Chair of educational assessment, University of Manchester.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now