Quality can be tested? Wrong answer

20th December 2013 at 00:00

Recent criticisms of the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) have clearly touched raw nerves in the assessment industry ("Don't hide behind jeers and sneers", Letters, 13 December).

Two clear camps are emerging in the battle over testing. There are those who, like letter writer George Bethell, believe it is possible to define the slippery concept of "quality" in education; there are others who believe it is indefinable. There are those who believe it is possible to measure quality through testing, and others who believe that quality can only be judged, although that judgement can be informed by test data.

For the first group, good-quality education provides experiences leading to high test scores; for the second, it involves giving young people a multitude of experiences that enable them to learn and flourish, as well as providing them with the understanding, skills and self-confidence to go on learning (and flourishing) long after they have completed their final test or exam.

Colin Richards, Spark Bridge, Cumbria.

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