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Individual schools to take Pisa tests

05/04/2013 Joanna
Secondary teachers could soon be able to gauge how their pupils' performance compares to that of children in highly ranked school systems elsewhere in the world.

The Operation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) uses the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests triennially to assess competencies in reading, mathematics and science among 15-year-olds in different countries.

It will now for the first time allow individual schools to take the PISA tests to see how their own levels of attainment compare to those of other countries.

This will be rolled out in the US as of September, but OECD deputy director for education and skills Andreas Schleicher has stated that he would also like to see the scheme rolled out in the UK as well.

He told BBC News that the idea for this initiative came from schools in the US, who wanted to know where they stood in comparison to and what they could learn from the highest performing and most rapidly improving school systems internationally.

Mr Schleicher commented: "Education still remains an amazingly local and inward-looking business.

"While those who run education systems may have access to some evidence on school performance, those who deliver educational services at the frontline in school often do not."

Furthermore, he said that one of the next projects he hoped to embark upon was the establishment of an international network of schools who have taken the test and can share their experiences.

The tests will be externally marked in order to ensure robustness and comparability and their results will not be published, unless the schools desire them to, so that those in teaching jobs can gauge how their pupils are performing without being compared to other schools.

An OECD report published back in February indicated that UK schools, while above average in pupil performance, were much lower in the international rankings on social equity in education, although Mr Schleicher did say at the time that it had made recent improvements.

Posted by Theo FouldsADNFCR-2164-ID-801567547-ADNFCR
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