A petition has been launched by academics and teachers from around the world, opposing the so-called PISA tests. The latest version of the tests has just been published. It is sure to cause more mayhem in schools in many OECD countries which have taken part.
PISA ranks countries according to tests given to students which purport to be objective, meaning that politicians can either boast about their schools being near the top or, if they are anywhere else, demand widespread 'reform' in schools.
The text of the petition points out that the tests and subsequent league tables have led to 'a narrowing of the curriculum, which has driven the elimination of subjects like arts, music, philosophy and history. School time has been restructured to accommodate training to be successful in these tests.' Moreover, the PISA process has brought about 'a strong inflow of private companies that have marginalized ministries of education, teachers unions and schools.'
In the case of Wales in the UK, where this writer lives, the results have been below average in the past - causing a political panic followed by a flurry of education initiatives in the country, which are exhausting and demoralising teachers. Not only has this had a detrimental effect on education but the results this time are just as 'bad' so the initiatives - which are in line with corporate reform globally - do not even work on their own terms.
To read critical and peer-reviewed articles about the PISA process, go to the Research Collaborative page on this website.
To read the petition in full and sign up if you agree click the Action and Solidarity icon below.