Pearson Is Everywhere: PISA 2018

PearsonWelcome back to Pearson Is Everywhere!

Last time we looked at how excited Pearson was about President Obama’s “free community college proposal.

Today, we look at something I missed from December 2014. We’ll look at how Pearson is going to develop the PISA 2018 Student Assessment 21st Century Frameworks for OECD.

Excerpt from the Press Release:

Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, today announces that it has won a competitive tender by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to develop the Frameworks for PISA 2018.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is widely recognized as the benchmark for evaluating education systems worldwide by assessing the skills and knowledge 15-year-old students will need in their further academic education or for joining the workforce.

PISA is administered every three years in around 70 participating economies world-wide. Representative national samples of 15 year-olds from these countries took the PISA 2012 test totaling about 510,000 students and representing about 28 million 15-year-olds globally. Similar, if not higher, numbers are expected for PISA 2015 and PISA 2018. From 2015 onward most students will take PISA by computer.

The frameworks define what will be measured in PISA 2018, how this will be reported and which approach will be chosen for the development of tests and questionnaires.  The main tasks will be to:

  • Redefine reading literacy, taking into account how young people are taught to approach the digital environment including how to recognise credible websites and online documents.
  • Review and where necessary adapt the frameworks for mathematics and science.
  • Develop the student questionnaire framework for the collection of contextual information and the measurement of other education outcomes which may have connections with performance.
  • Develop a framework for the measurement of global competence which will assess students’ awareness of the interconnected global world we live and work in and their ability to deal effectively with the
    resulting demands.

The rest is quotes, including this one from the head of  OECD; emphasis is mine:

Head of the PISA programme at the OECD Andreas Schleicher said:

“PISA 2018 has the potential to be the start of a new phase of our international assessments. We can now make much smarter use of technology in how we test young people, and we need global competence as governments around the world seek to equip young people with the skills they need for life and employment.”

Smarter use of technology? Tracking our kids globally? Yay??

Those fighting Common Core know that Common Core supporters (and test makers) used PISA scores like a shield to rationalize use of the standards.

The rationalization, boiled down, was that our country’s scores weren’t as good as other countries and that Common Core was the solution. It also has no basis in reality, since Common Core was basically a big fundamentally flawed experiment with no empirical evidence backing it.

Hilariously, Common Core math writer Jason Zimba argued that the Common Core Math would improve PISA scores.  Remember,  Jason Zimba revealed during testimony in Massachusetts that Common Core math alone will not get kids on STEM tracks into college.

Former Common Core validation committee member, Dr. Milgram, has also noted that Common Core math will set our kids back at least 2 years.

The math in the early grades has proven to be a giant disaster, with young kids being taught overly convoluted methods for very simple problems.

In the latter grades, the math sequencing has been a big issue and it has been pointed out that Common Core math will not prepare kids for a STEM path.

A big problem with proponents use of PISA is that when the data is disaggregated by the percentages of poverty in a school, the United States scores at the top over all the rest.

Also, PISA itself says their test is not to be used as a tool to rationalize sweeping educational reforms or policy changes.  Read: Dr. Christopher Tienken Explains PISA and Real Education Beyond PISA

In a nutshell, PISA attempts to compare apples to wrenches using a ruler with no markings on it.


About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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