A letter, from a list of world-wide academics to Dr Andreas Schleicher, director of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (published in The Guardian) has accused the system of killing the joys of learning for pupils, as governments, education ministers, and the editorial boards of newspapers, now focus on the world rankings. The authors claim, “Pisa has contributed to an escalation in such [standardised] testing and a dramatically increased reliance on quantitative measures”.
The letter not only highlights the major pitfalls in the system, but also recommends 7 ideas on how the system could be used constructively and usefully across the globe when comparing education systems which contrast so differently:
- Explore more meaningful and less easily sensationalised ways of reporting assessment outcomes;
- Make room for participation by the full range of relevant constituents and scholarship;
- Include national and international organisations in the formulation of assessment methods and standards;
- Publish the direct and indirect costs of administering Pisa;
- Welcome oversight by independent international monitoring teams;
- Provide detailed accounts regarding the role of private, for-profit companies in the preparation, execution, and follow-up to the tri-annual Pisa assessments
- Slow down the testing juggernaut.
The letter calls for the next round of testing (2015) to be postponed whilst a review process is taken about the assessment system, arguing that many, “fail to understand how your organisation has become the global arbiter of the means and ends of education around the world.”
Read the letter, in full, via the Guardian Website (Click here to view).