The Guardian is reporting that nearly 100 educationalists from around the world sign letter attacking the OECD’s PISA rankings and say the next round of tests should be cancelled.
Nearly 100 leading educational figures from around the world have issued an unprecedented challenge to PISA - and what they call “the negative consequences” of its rankings - in a letter to its director, Andreas Schleicher.
The signatories include top academics from Cambridge, Oxford, London, Bristol, Stanford (California), Columbia (New York), Ballarat (Australia), Canterbury (New Zealand) and Stockholm universities.
The OECD, the letter says, has “assumed the power to shape education policy around the world”. Using “tests widely known to be imperfect”, it encourages governments to seek “short-term fixes” to climb the rankings; narrows our ideas of what education should be about; and kills the “joy of learning”, turning it into “drudgery”.
PISA, the signatories argue, dramatically increases the reliance on “quantitative measures” to rank and label pupils, teachers and heads. It is distorting the curriculum, reducing teachers’ autonomy and increasing stress levels in schools.
The letter points out that the OECD - which has 34 member nations, most of them European - is focused on the economic role of schools.
The 1,300-word letter to Schleicher - described by Gove as “the father of more revolutions than any German since Karl Marx” - is published on Tuesday on the Guardian website and on Global Policy, an online hub for leading academics and teachers.
The letter argues that school reforms should not ignore the “paramount” role of socio-economic inequality in influencing pupil performance.
It also argues that the OECD’s growing influence over how schools are run and what they teach is profoundly undemocratic. Unlike UNICEF and UNESCO, it has no “legitimate mandate” in education.
Read the letter from the academies in the Guardian here: OECD and PISA tests are damaging education worldwide - academics
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