In an open letter to Dr Andreas Schleicher, Director of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, academics from around the world express deep concern about the overblown impact of questionable PISA tests and call for a halt of the next round of testing.
In the letter, academics say the OECD should develop alternatives to league tables and find more meaningful ways of reporting assessment, taking account of different cultures. Also, they decry that its 3-year assessment cycles lead to short-term fixes with the only aim of climbing in the ranking. Besides, this ranking thoroughly overlooks measurable items such as physical, moral, civic and artistic development, limiting the goal of education to gainful employment.
On the constructive side, academics call to open the OECD to democratic accountability, publish the direct and indirect costs of administrating PISA, and to include national and international organizations in the formulation of assessments methods, among others. On the other hand, they challenge the organization to prove that contracting private, for-profit partners of OECD does not incur in a conflict of interests. It contributes to killing the joy of learning.
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