We should measure what we value, not value what we can measure

After the release of the latest Pisa and Timss international rankings, the chair of Whole Education argues that it's time to reconsider the skills we prioritise.


So Pisa (the Programme for International Student Assessment) and Timss (the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) are over for another year, although the debate about the international rankings will continue for some time, especially in countries that scored poorly. The latest results again show East Asian countries in the lead, but some Western countries performed well – Finland (again), Canada, Estonia and Ireland.


In Pisa, the UK has dropped one place in maths and risen by one in reading – still in a mid 20s position in the international league table. The results for children in Scotland and Wales will cause considerable thought in Edinburgh and Cardiff, where being behind England in education is as unwelcome as losing to them at rugby. As they look at the policy confusion south and east of their borders respectively, will they go for greater centralisation of policy and more national assessment, or increased autonomy for schools?


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