David Berliner on PISA and Poverty

An interesting letter on the link between scores on PISA and poverty (focus is the US, but relevant for more countries).

Diane Ravitch's blog

Since there is always a lot of chatter about what international tests scores mean, I invited David Berliner to share his views. Berliner is one of our nation’s pre-eminent scholars of education.

Dear Diane,

A few weeks ago you asked me a question about recent PISA test results and the role that is played by poverty in the scores of the USA and other countries. As I understand it PISA doesn’t compute the poverty-test score relationships in quite the same way we might in the USA, but the results they get are similar to what we get.

Investigations of the poverty-test score relationships in PISA 2012 (OECD, 2013) relied on two variables, each of which was a composite. First, they used a family social class measure that was supposed to capture the income and cultural resources of a family. They combined three factors to get one composite index of family…

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