There is a debate going on in the Washington Post on international test scores. It started with a first piece by Valerie Strauss “The fetishization of international test scores” which looked to the upcoming release of 2012 PISA test scores on Dec. 3 and said we place too much attention on these scores.
A few days ago she than published a dissent from Marc Tucker, resident of the non-profit National Center on Education and the Economy.
The thing is, both articles mentioned a report released early this year by Martin Carnoy, education professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, Richard Rothstein, research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, which raised questions about whether the average scores for the US in the 2009 PISA were reported lower than they should have been.
While the second and third article start to look as a blame war, the original report is very interesting even for people outside the US.
“However, conclusions like these, which are often drawn from international test comparisons, are oversimplified, frequently exaggerated, and misleading. They ignore the complexity of test results and may lead policymakers to pursue inappropriate and even harmful reforms.”