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Good to see that the TES is now an avid supporter of Michael Gove. William The problem with your propsal is that generalisabilty theory shows that the ability-task interaction is so high as to make the assessment pointless. One could never establish within a normal teaching timetable that the children had acquired these skills. Schools shoud not be encouraged to ape the ill-informed assessment practices of Pisa. See Tony Gardiner's paper dg.icme11.org/.../469 "The neutral observers I know who have tried to make an honest assessment of PISA have all come to the uncomfortable conclusion that there is something seriously amiss at almost all levels of the PISA program"
The best way to improve our national standing in PISA would be to narrow the attainment gap between children from poorer households and their peers. Not more teaching to the test, which, interestingly, the report author does not deny is prevalent. National politicians do tend to thunder at the profession on occasions like this - if they didn't blame the profession we would recognise that some blame attaches to national policies which were ill-conceived and had a poor - or absent - plan for implementation. Attack is the national politicians best form of defence. Instead of being defensive, or questioning the validity of tests, we should surely consider the implications of the findings. How we do as a nation internationally will determine whether we can afford pensions or the welfare state in future years and school is the (costly) foundation of young people's preparedness for the world. Looked at internationally we appear as a nation not to be preparing our young people well for life in the global village. It is a shared problem and we need to deal with it. Our school system is on a par with Turkey and we are never going to be able to compete with Turkey on price.
Rita, in her unquestioning adulation of Pisa's useless and fundamentally flawed ranking system represents the real problem with the UK's education system. Where is her reply to Tony Gardiner?
More teaching to the tests: that's the way to give our children a decent education, by gad! And while we're at it, bring back the cane!
Real life is messy, Stevemayman. PISA probably isn't perfect, but neither are many (possibly even most) other proxy measurements and indicators which inform policy. Never mind the education system, the problem with the country may well be people such as yourself, who appear not to want to wake up to the fact that the days of Empire are long over, and the nation needs to find a new and hopefully ambitious and aspirational place for itself.
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