Evaluating the effects of specific country / regional policies using large scale international assessments is a challenging task. This is primarily because this is not actually what they have been designed for. However, the rich data contained within the PISA background questionnaires can sometimes provide important clues for the direction that education policy should take. One such example from my home country is the Linguistic Immersion Policy (LIP) which has been operating in Catalonia since 1992.
Rolf V. Olsen and Sigrid Blömeke Large-scale international assessments studies (ILSA) are regarded as important sources for monitoring educational quality in many countries. The results from the studies are frequently cited in policy documents and they are regularly used as warrants or rebuttals in political debates. Over the last 20 years or so, ILSAs have […]
Andrés Sandoval-Hernández The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a survey of the educational performance of 15-year-old students organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The results of the latest round of PISA will be released in December this year and we will see a lot about it in the news […]
Imagine you are a policymaker tasked with overhauling your country’s education system. You are faced with a bewildering list of competing claims, all advanced with absolute certainty by proponents. Should you listen to the economists who want to expand school choice? What about the trendy calls to replicate the ‘Finnish miracle’—should you try to produce a near carbon copy of the Finnish system? What about a return to old fashion tracking like the Germans and the Dutch? Empirical data exists but most of the best stuff is on local interventions that are unlikely to tell you much about how a particular policy will affect the whole education system.
Equity in education is a hotly debated topic both nationally and internationally. This has led to a view that educational equity is a problem where action needs to be taken. Our forthcoming article in the Journal of Supranational Policies of Education investigates whether this opinion is correct. Using data from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) we investigate how “fair” education is across the European Union. We measure “fairness” in this context by considering how well countries perform in PISA independent of the background characteristics of students.
While some countries such as Germany are avid consumers of PISA data, others such as the U.S. are much less concerned about PISA scores. In most cases, reactions to PISA scores appear largely based on notions of national pride, in where the country falls in the league tables of results. But the scores tell us much more.