Rolf V. Olsen & Sigrid Blömeke In an earlier blog, we established that international large-scale assessments can be regarded as powerful and influential knowledge sources for making claims about the quality of educational systems. Comparisons between countries have over time been one of the most dominant ways of interpreting the results coming out of the […]
John Jerrim It is widely considered important that young people read regularly. A wide range of previous research has linked reading during childhood to improved language skills and higher levels of academic achievement more generally. But does it matter what they choose to read? Does flicking through a magazine or reading a daily newspaper have […]
One of the most prominent messages on the OECD’s education platform is the tagline “better policies for better lives”. This message is clearly visible below the OECD emblem and is featured on every page of their website. One might naturally wonder if and how PISA results have indeed been used to improve the lives of immigrant students around the world.
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.