Monday, December 2, 2013

PISA, Power and Policy

PISA scores will be released December 3. Anyone who uses PISA scores or rankings to make decisions or judgements should read PISA, Power, and Policy: the emergence of global educational governance. From the flap:

Over the past ten years the PISA assessment has risen to strategic prominence in the international education policy discourse. Sponsored, organized and administered by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), PISA seems well on its way to being institutionalized as the main engine in the global accountability regime.

The goal of this book is to problematize this development and PISA as an institution-building force in global education. It scrutinizes the role of PISA in the emerging regime of global educational governance and questions the presumption that the quality of a nation’s school system can be evaluated through a standardized assessment that is insensitive to the world’s vast cultural and institutional diversity. The book raises the question of whether PISA’s dominance in the global educational discourse runs the risk of engendering an unprecedented process of worldwide educational standardization for the sake of hitching schools more tightly to the bandwagon of economic efficiency, while sacrificing their role to prepare students for independent thinking and civic participation.

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