Pisa R.I.P - hgunn.uk  

      Pasi Shalsberg refers to the Pisa International School assessments as a Germ, a virus that kills schools. The Pisa virus infects educational ministers every three years when their countries have perceived low Pisa rankings. He claims that it demoralises teachers and it retards teacher recruitment. Dylan Wiliam, a distinguished authority, has also claimed there is no intrinsic value in its international comparisons.


     Howard's Pisa book was originally written in 2016. It was inspired by the BBC Wales scored swap South Korean style programme where three Welsh children from Pembrokeshire were featured visiting South Korea and learning in a South Korean school. It was an absolutely brilliant programme because it exposed what has been happening in the Far East high Pisa ranking countries. Howard has also reviewed the more recent Australian visit to Singapore.


          The fundamental problem is that Pisa is not understood across the world. The world rankings are meaningless. The rankings are derived from the estimated average scores of countries. The rankings are published in thousands of degrees. If school nurses do not measure height in millimetres. If they did, there would be no observable difference. If anyone can explain what thousands of points differences in a Pisa ranking of countries in a very diverse and complex world can I have any meaning, it would be most interesting.


    There is also the issue of all children in the world do not take the Pisa assessment. Pisa primarily takes the same sample for every country, such as countries like Ireland and the United States, which means that millions of children in any related states never take peace in assessments, the missing children scores are estimated and adjusted through Pisa weightings.


     Pisa resembles intelligence tests. They are aimed at assessing children's higher order problem solving capabilities. They do not measure what children learnt in the school curriculum. Examination assessments like GCSE do. Even if Pisa could assess children's individual attainment, it does not mean that if an individual has a high score in maths, it does not necessarily mean they will have a high score in their maths G.C.S.E. The two are not the same.


       Pisa uses logarithms for extremely complicated repeated calculations. They are not like a GCSE assessment, where each child is assessed in a common range of questions. Teachers have no valid means are determine how accurately children have been assessed. They have this feedback from G.C.S.E. assessments.

      Pisa does not assess the quality of teaching in schools. It is possible to have world-class teaching standards, but they will not necessarily attain world-class standards of children's attainment. It is impossible in the Far East, where children binge learn up to 14 hours attending school and private night classes. It is increaing in the United Kingdom, especially in London, but not to the same extent. It impossible to differentiate between the school and private tuition has on children's attainment.


     Socioeconomic status has a profound influence on children's attainment and the distribution of social deprivation in countries is not always equal. Wales is low-wage economy. Many parents are not able to afford to arrange private lessons for their chidlren.






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