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Book part

Duishon Shamatov and Keneshbek Sainazarov

In 2006, Kyrgyzstan entered the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) competition and the results were very poor, with it securing the last position among…

Abstract

In 2006, Kyrgyzstan entered the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) competition and the results were very poor, with it securing the last position among all participating countries. However, to date, there are no in-depth studies examining the results and the impact of the PISA test on the quality of secondary education in Kyrgyzstan. This chapter attempts to fill this gap. The study was conducted in post-Soviet Central Asian education context where standardized tests are only emerging and what their far-reaching implications are not yet known. The data were collected using semistructured interviews and document analysis. Respondents to semistructured interviews included representatives of government, education officials, specialists from the independent testing center, representatives of international development organizations, university professors, school administrators and teachers, community members, and students. The study showed that the poor results of PISA 2006 awakened many policymakers, education officials, and educators about the current state of the country's education. However, the findings of the study also showed that the lessons and implications were not analyzed systematically and, as a result, rather fragmented and less coordinated efforts and initiatives were undertaken.

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The Impact of International Achievement Studies on National Education Policymaking
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-449-9

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Book part

Oren Pizmony-Levy

Over the past two decades, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has become an influential actor in the education sector. This has been…

Abstract

Over the past two decades, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has become an influential actor in the education sector. This has been accomplished, partly, by the administration of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) since 2000. Overall, PISA is intended to inform the public, parents, teachers, and those who run education systems of the status of education in their country. Research shows that policymakers draw on PISA results when they launch and design education reforms. To date, however, we know very little about whether PISA is successfully informing the general public, which is the main sponsor and benefactor of PISA. Using public opinion surveys from the United States and Israel, this chapter examines knowledge and perception of PISA. Recent reports suggest that both countries are in the middle ranks of all countries participating in PISA, with the United States being in the middle ranks of OECD countries and Israel being in the lower ranks of this group. Findings from public opinion surveys reveal three interesting patterns. First, in both countries, the public tend to underestimate how well 15-year olds perform on international standardized tests. Second, college graduates are more likely than those with less education to underestimate the performance of teens on international standardized tests. Third, although the public seems to be misinformed about PISA results, we find considerable public support for PISA and international standardized tests more generally. Implications of the findings for policy and future research in the field of international and comparative education are discussed.

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The Impact of the OECD on Education Worldwide
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-539-3

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Article

Henry H. Bi

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) measured 15-year-olds’ performance in mathematics, reading, and science. The purpose of this paper is to use the…

Abstract

Purpose

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) measured 15-year-olds’ performance in mathematics, reading, and science. The purpose of this paper is to use the assessment results of PISA 2006, 2009, and 2012 to benchmark the compulsory education performance of 65 countries and economies with emphasis on two benchmarking steps: identifying benchmarks and determining performance gaps.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a multi-criterion and multi-period performance categorization method to identify a group of best performers as benchmarks. Then, the authors use two-sample t-tests to detect against benchmarks whether each country or economy has significant performance gaps on individual performance measures.

Findings

Based on the mean scores of three assessment subjects in PISA 2006, 2009, and 2012, six best performers (Top-6) are identified from 65 participating countries and economies. In comparison with Top-6’s weighted averages, performance gaps are found for most countries and economies on the mean score of each subject, the percentage of top-performing students in all three subjects, and the percentage of lowest-performing students in each subject.

Originality/value

For compulsory education systems around the world, this paper provides an original categorization of performance based on the results of three PISA cycles, and provides new insights for countries and economies to prioritize improvement efforts to increase average performance, pursue excellence, and tackle low performance. For benchmarking applications involving multi-criterion and multi-period data, this paper presents a novel method of using statistical control charts to identify benchmarks and then using two-sample t-tests to determine performance gaps on individual performance measures.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Book part

Hitoshi Sato

This study considers the structure of PISA penetration into education policy through a comparative analysis of Japan and Norway. Many studies on PISA’s impact tend to…

Abstract

This study considers the structure of PISA penetration into education policy through a comparative analysis of Japan and Norway. Many studies on PISA’s impact tend to emphasize the character of PISA result as a norm, such as the concept of “governance by comparison.” This study regards PISA as a norm of educational contents and analyzes the structure of PISA penetration into educational contents policy, with respect to the national curriculum. In describing the situations around PISA in the two countries, the background of the acceptance of PISA, the nature of national curriculum in education policy and its character, and the structure of PISA penetration with the focus being on how PISA is integrated into the national curriculum are analyzed through related documents and literatures. As a result of comparative analysis, three common features are found. First of all, PISA penetration occurred in the context of “PISA Shock” since the importance of PISA itself was recognized. Second, the system of management by objectives was included in the educational system and PISA penetrated into that system as objectives. Third, in relation with this second point, PISA as a norm of educational contents was integrated into existing educational goals or subjects. These features are evident only in the comparison of two countries, so a deeper analysis of PISA penetration will be needed in a future study.

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The Impact of the OECD on Education Worldwide
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-539-3

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Book part

Nicholas P. Triplett

Over the past two decades, scholars have noted an increasing global convergence in the policy and practice of education that predominantly contains Western ideals of mass…

Abstract

Over the past two decades, scholars have noted an increasing global convergence in the policy and practice of education that predominantly contains Western ideals of mass schooling serving as a model for national school systems (Bieber & Martens, 2011; Goldthorpe, 1997; Spring, 2008). A number of transnational organizations contribute disproportionately to global educational discourse, particularly the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) through its international comparative performance measure, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This study conducted a critical discourse analysis of the OECD document PISA 2012 Results: Excellence through Equity (OECD, 2013) to examine the ways that PISA and the OECD conceive of educational equity in a global context. Given the growing convergence of global educational policy, the way that transnational educational organizations address equity has crucial implications for the ways that the world intervenes in schooling to promote or diminish equitable outcomes. Analysis revealed that the OECD and the PISA foreground economistic notions of educational equity, which diminishes the role of other factors (i.e., race/ethnicity, gender, immigration status, language) that mediate equity in schools. Findings and implications are discussed.

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The Power of Resistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-462-6

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Book part

Ji-Hye Kim

The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the educational impact of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on South Korea, focusing on the…

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the educational impact of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on South Korea, focusing on the global implementation of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). By analyzing how the system of reasoning embedded in the OECD and PISA has re-territorialized the education space of South Korea, this chapter problematizes present-day OECD educational policy as a new global education norm, and its way of making educational truths. This chapter specifically discusses the changes in South Korean education policy, national curriculum, and examination system in terms of reference reasoning, politics of knowledge, and regime of testing. The chapter further discusses that the impact of the OECD in a global space is not unidirectional; rather, it is a multi-directional phenomenon occurring in both individual country and the global governance that the OECD created.

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The Impact of the OECD on Education Worldwide
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-539-3

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Book part

Mariam Orkodashvili

This research paper tries to look into the issues of achievement gaps in education in Gulf countries. The paper sets forth an idea that the international projects such as…

Abstract

This research paper tries to look into the issues of achievement gaps in education in Gulf countries. The paper sets forth an idea that the international projects such as Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMSS), and Progress in Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) could serve not only as means of setting and checking quality standards in education but also as mediators in closing achievement gaps and in helping increase the accountability of schools toward the wider public. The paper also makes an attempt to look at the relative standing of Arab Gulf countries in the international projects such as TIMSS, PISA, and PIRLS. The research assumes that the large-scale international data might appear useful for benchmarking the progress made in any individual country. The paper suggests that the arrows of influence move and operate in both directions, implying that while setting global standards, international projects base their judgments on identified local challenges in education systems of individual countries. Most importantly, they could be used in influencing national policies to make education systems more transparent and comparable to international standards.

First, the paper states that in order to carry out the benchmarking process efficiently and obtain meaningful results for policy making on an international level, assessment procedures such as testing and questionnaire reporting should be conducted on a local level prior to moving to international level. The paper draws experiences from high-performing countries such as Chinese Taipei, South Korea, and Japan. These countries go through intensive local testing practices at early schooling stages before moving on to participating in TIMSS, PISA, and PIRLS projects. Consequently, school children, schools, school districts, and entire countries show high academic readiness and performance at the fourth and eighth grades on an international level.

Second, the paper hypothesizes that discrepancies between teaching methodologies of items covered by individual country curricula, a variety of approaches toward explanation and delivery of various concepts to students, and teacher-specific implementation of theory and practice balance during classes could all potentially contribute to wide gaps and discrepancies between TIMSS, PISA, and PIRLS scores of separate countries no matter how similar their national curricula might look. Strategies for narrowing down examination and questionnaire issues to the items covered in the curricula of all countries have been offered on several occasions; however, this procedure causes oversimplification of teaching and items, and leads to considerable lowering of standards. Therefore, this issue has been presenting a substantial dilemma in TIMSS, PISA, and PIRLS projects’ success across countries.

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Cross-nationally Comparative, Evidence-based Educational Policymaking and Reform
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-767-8

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Article

Julia Kuzmina and Martin Carnoy

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relative academic effectiveness of vocational education in three countries with early tracking systems: Austria, Croatia, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relative academic effectiveness of vocational education in three countries with early tracking systems: Austria, Croatia, and Hungary.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use an instrumental variables approach to estimate vocational education’s relative academic effectiveness in terms of achievement on an international test, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program of International Student Assessment (PISA), and two possible indicators of non-cognitive outcomes – self-efficacy in mathematics and intrinsic motivation in mathematics, both also available from the PISA student survey.

Findings

The results show few, if any, differences in student gains from attending the vocational track in secondary school as opposed to the academic track. Specifically, the results show that attending the vocational or academic track results in similar achievement gains in the tenth grade and generally similar gains in self-efficacy and motivation in mathematics.

Originality/value

The study is unique because in the three countries, the authors can use a fuzzy regression discontinuity approach based on school systems’ age entrance date rules to estimate the gain in test scores over an academic year and to compare the gain for students in the vocational and academic tracks. The results contradict almost all other studies by showing that in these countries student academic gains in vocational education are about the same as in the academic track.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Book part

Steven Lewis

This chapter focuses on a new school-level instrument for international benchmarking and policy learning – the OECD’s PISA-based Test for Schools (“PISA for Schools”) …

Abstract

This chapter focuses on a new school-level instrument for international benchmarking and policy learning – the OECD’s PISA-based Test for Schools (“PISA for Schools”) – and how it helps to constitute new global spaces and relations of education policymaking and governance. Unlike main PISA, PISA for Schools assesses school performance in reading, mathematics, and science against the schooling systems measured by the main PISA test. Schools are thus positioned within a globally commensurate space of measurement and comparison, and are encouraged to engage with, and learn from, the policy expertise proffered by “high-performing” international schooling systems and the OECD itself. Drawing suggestively across literature and theorizing around new spatialities associated with globalization, the “becoming topological” of culture and “power-topologies,” and informed by document analysis and interviews with 33 policy actors from across the PISA for Schools policy cycle, the chapter examines how PISA for Schools helps the OECD to directly “reach into” local schooling spaces. This respatialized PISA for Schools, or “PISA to Schools”, provides the OECD with the means to influence how schooling is practised and conceived at the level of local policy implementation, while limiting mediation by national and/or subnational politics. Moreover, the school-to-system performance comparisons enabled by PISA for Schools arguably provide one of the first – if not the only – international data-driven catalysts of school-level reform. This furthers the relevance and diffusion of “lessons” from main PISA and the OECD to schools themselves, and helps extend the epistemic communities through which the OECD practices its global epistemological governance of education.

Details

The Impact of the OECD on Education Worldwide
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-539-3

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Article

Hana Krskova and Chris Baumann

The purpose of this paper is to combine seemingly unrelated factors to explain global competitiveness. The study argues that school discipline and education investment…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to combine seemingly unrelated factors to explain global competitiveness. The study argues that school discipline and education investment affect competitiveness with the association being mediated by educational performance. Crucially, diachronic effects of discipline on performance are tested to demonstrate effects over time.

Design/methodology/approach

Partial least square (PLS) modelling is used to analyse the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data. The study further draws from World Bank data on Government Expenditure and World Economic Forum data on competitiveness. Five PISA dimensions of school discipline (students listening well, noise levels, teacher waiting time, students working well, class start time) are hypothesised to affect academic performance in reading, math and science, and to ultimately impact competitiveness.

Findings

Findings confirm the relative importance of school discipline (88 per cent) in comparison to education investment (12 per cent) on educational performance, with both variables also being found to be significantly associated with competitiveness directly.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates the time effects of discipline, more specifically that discipline dimensions (students listen well in 2003 and students work well in 2009) are associated with competitiveness in 2012. Implications for school policy and further research are discussed.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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