Pisa 2022 Fiasco   

       Pisa is viewed as the World Cup of education by the media.  Andreas Schiecher head of the O.E.C.D. has said “I do not see any education system as generally superior to others,” but  Pisa virus infects education ministers in the Western world every three years when their countries do not obtain top Pisa ranking. There is no cure for It.

           Professor Dylan Wiliam,  a globally recognised acadamic has said that. "I
nternational comparisons of education systems are not useful because they are plagued by missing data and the private tuition of students, and because policies cannot be simply transplanted to other countries"


      The fundamental problem with Pisa is so complicated very few people understand it. 


         Howard appeared to have an influence that in the 2023 Pisa publication of the results 2022 Welsh Pisa results. The press only concentrated on the comparisons between United Kingdom countries.  

        Howard had presented the Professor Dylan William paper which  suggested that Pisa does not allow valid international comparisons to be made between countries because of missing data and homework. He argued that even if it was reformed it would not resolve the problem. 

      In the submission Socpie.uk made to the Welsh media that we did not want in Wales the binge learning that takes place in the Far East its associated mental health problems of children. 

     A boy was interviewed by an Australian team visit to Singapore to ascertain how Singapore obtains its high Pisa high rankings. A 11 boy was asked what he would like to change in his life most. He replied to have more sleep.

         Andreas Schliecher claimed that Wales had "Lost its soul" in 2023, but only branded Wales as being bottom of the United Kingdom countries. There was a time in primary education when Howard was educated in the 1960s when there were 48 children in his classr ranked. Some poor child ranked 48th in his class.

         Andreas Schliecher's  clearly hasa   rewarded and punnishment view of education. He  are cannot be ignorant of the countries media reactions to poor perceived Pisa  rankings.  He knows he uses big  number to the exaggerate differences of countries estimated average scores.

         If the 20 points is Pisa years rate of progress. This means that Pisa is accurate to two weeks schooling. It also means that Singapore maths score was four years above the Pisa average children in each. This is equivalent to measuring a child height in milimeters.

          There is only one score for United States their county, but in the United States administer state assessments. It know that  if Pisa assesssed each individual state they would have some of the highest and lower ranking states in the world. The home countries only have unofficial Pisa scores. Only the United Kingdom score is officila score ranked.  If Europe had a Pisa estimated score or the regions of England or every Welsh county they would all be different.


     It was not said in Wales that the drops in Pisa results reflects a  changing society. Scheilecher referred to lack of parent support, children's behaviour, and the effects of smartphone is having on children's school attainment  Another major issue children lack of sleep because they are addicted to them.


        Bokhove, an authority on Pisa, refers to there being a distinction between correlation and causation. It could reasonably be  argued that Pisa is simply providing information on how well children have done in the Pisa assessment. The causation refers to third dimension. Cremating countries over peceieved poor Pisa results as has been happening with the Times attack on tjhe Scottish 2022 Pias results is silly.  The underlying causes need to be identified.


        There tends to be consistency in Pisa scores. There is the issue of what an estimated average score, which is not derided from every child in each country really means is aa question that needs to be answered. There has and there will always be a distinction between what has been learnt and learning potentiatial. The two are not the same. It is said about South Korea that if children did not do the binge learning  every school  it would be one of the lowest ranking countries in the world.           


        The fudamental problem with Pisa is that it provides an estimated average score.  Averages are created from puttng different size apples into a bag. If socially advantage parents arrange for chidlren to have intenisve private lessons then this can raise the bar for a countries average score. In the Far East children keep their learning skills primed. Their curriculum is narrower. If chidlren were allowed to revise for their Pisa assessment the gap with Far East will close. 

         High Pisa ranking Finland is satisfied with their education system despite its falling ranking.  Cognitive research is illustrating that  valid and reliable assessments becoming more complicated.  The Welsh Government should not be concerned about its Pisa ranking like Finland. This does not mean they will have low expectation.

More evidence  after the bibliography.

Full Rationale

Professor Dylan Wiliam, a globally respected education academic, stated in Times Educational Supplement that:-

"International comparisons of education systems are not useful because they are plagued by missing data and the private tuition of students, and because policies cannot be simply transplanted to other countries"


"He said that, even if problems with Pisa could be overcome, he was still “sceptical” about the value of international comparisons because education policies cannot easily be transplanted to other countries."


“Even if we know why those countries are high performing, could we implement that in the UK or England? The answer is probably not."


He raised his concerns in the presence of Andrew Schleicher Head of the O.E.C.D. in a meeting of the Sutton Trust in New York. In the Guardian in 2014 it was reported that eighty-six leading educationalists from across the world wrote to Andreas Schleicher expressing their dissatisfaction with Pisa.  They stated that:-

"By emphasising a narrow range of measurable aspects of education, Pisa takes attention away from the less measurable or immeasurable educational objectives like physical, moral, civic and artistic development, thereby dangerously narrowing our collective imagination regarding what education is and ought to be about."

      Pisa ranking refer to an estimated average score which differentiated into thousandths of points. It is unclear what the difference is between the two countries or changes in attainment when the resultts are so precisely measured. It is equivalent to school nurse measuring children’s height in millimetre. The differences could not be observed.


        We are all, as human beings are not very good at assessing what is not there, and all the media are primarily interested when Pisa is announced is a countries ranking. Few know what lies behind the Pisa rankings.


        In South Korea, which is featured on the BBC 2016 Wales "School Swap South Korean Style"  programme children were learning in school, they were attending hagwons night classes up to ten o’clock at night, and they were also having private tuition help them with their maths.


      An Australian programme visited Singapore in 2020 where they have the equivalent of the old eleven plus for primary children. Binge learning was taking place there.  The parents were actively supporting their son education up eleven o'clock a night.


        The boy was asked what he would like to change most in his life. His answer was more sleep.


       The quantity of learning does not equal the quality of it. Learning is a chemical process. The amount of time that is devoted to learning each day will not be proportional to the amount of studying children do. Research illustrates that sleep is very important in consolidating learning. In both countries  issues were raised about children's  mental health.


       It appears reasonable to suggest that any could differentiate between the school influence on children's Pisa attainment of the schoool and out of school learning  they would deserve to win the Nobel Prize. There are children having private lessons in schools across the world. 

          The culture is the Far East is parents are responsible for their children’s attainment. They are highly competitive societies. In South Korea, if children fail to get into university there is no second chance. In Singapore only children who passed their version of the old 11+ could have an academic education. Both countries were implementing change.


      There is the issue of what the Pisa result really mean. Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and English do not have official scores and ranking. There is only an official United Kingdom score and ranking. All four unofficial Pisa country scores in the United Kingdom are different.  If they all adopted the official United Kingdom score, they all have the same score. It is non-sensical.


        If the United States is considered, they have a country national assessment where children's performance in each state is assessed. periodically. They only have one piece of ranking. There are there 73 million children in the United States. Some of their states are larger than Pisa countries. Their national assessments suggest if every state was given an individual Pisa score, then they would have some of the highest and lowest Pisa rankings in the world.  


        Pisa does not assess every child. It uses estimating and weighting to assess children who do not exist. The sample taken from each country is broadly similar, so in large countries, there are far more estimated children than in small ones. Pisa does not mark questions right or wrong. It uses complicated algorithms. It is refers to what question hoops, Pisa levels, children have reached and what hoops they should reach. The estimates come out of a black box alogrithms, which arises form myriad of repeated calculations.


    There is also the issue of languages. Language is fundamental to children’s learning. It said that the reason why Finland does well in Pisa is because the Finnish language is regular. English is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn to read it. It takes far longer to master. The is also the issue of children no taking Pisa in their native language.

        Doctors devote around three to four months to revise for the final examination. If they retain everything they had learn in medical schools they would not need to revise for it. There is the issue of whether Far East children skills are more primed that Western children. Iuan sitting in his desk in South Korean desk did not appear to be confortable do a half Welsh G.C.S.E. paper, he did explain he had an A Star in his real G.C.S.E. 

          Professional David Reynolds, educationalist, stated in research book where he referred to maths teaching America to assertain best teaching practice not the Far East, that despite the doom and gloom about Western education children suceeded in our universities. Wales has a lot of social deprivation. Welsh education is around the Pisa average. It not an educational disaster.