The Global Education Race

A global education race now pits countries, regions, and school systems against one another. The racecourse has been created by a small number of influential international testing programs, and the popular media announces winners and losers. Fear of falling behind haunts policy-makers and shapes educational priorities around the world. But are we running in the right direction?

We all have a stake in education, and as informed citizens we need to understand the increasingly influential and controversial phenomenon of international testing and what it means for students and the future of our schools. The Global Education Race provides educators, parents, and policy-makers with a lively and accessible introduction to the most influential international testing program: PISA, the Programme for International Student Assessment, operated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The authors draw on the latest research on assessment and education policy to provide a clear account of how the test works and to investigate PISA's influence on educational goals and practice in schools around the world. The book aims to provoke informed debate about the role of testing, data, and comparison in educational change.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
The Global Education Race 1
Foreword PISA A good servant but a bad master 6
Introduction Running the wrong race? 13
1 The PISA Racetrack 16
2 Stories 28
3 Rankings 38
4 Tests 51
5Comparisons 65
6 Validity 78
7 Politics 91
Conclusion Helping policy makers find the right track 102