Fair enough, the claim is that we’re not very good at counting

England’s recent improvement in international tests comparing the educational performance of 15-year-olds across the globe is based on “flawed” data which, if corrected, could result in a sharp drop down the rankings, according to new research.

The government hailed the most recent round of results in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) in 2018, which saw a marked improvement in England’s maths results, as a vindication for policy changes driven by Michael Gove when he was education secretary.

Research by UCL Institute of Education suggests, however, the results and subsequent rankings were distorted because of low levels of participation in the test and a disproportionate underrepresentation of lower achieving students. If the data was adjusted on the basis of a more representative sample, it suggests England could plummet 11 places in the rankings for maths.

6 thoughts on “Fair enough, the claim is that we’re not very good at counting”

  1. So people who don’t like maths and aren’t good at it don’t take the tests.

    Surprise, surprise.

    I very much doubt that things are too different in other countries.

  2. “England’s recent improvement in international tests.” – How recent are we talking? I saw no improvement versus India.

  3. General innumeracy is the reason Pofessor Neil Armageddon Ferguson keeps getting wheeled out whenever the folks need frightening. Anyone blessed with back of envelope maths skills would have called bullshit after the Plague Princess docked in Japan and most of the elderly passengers emerged unscathed. Mind you he should have been unemployable after his BSE modelling.

  4. Boganboy beat me to it. The Grauniad only wants to compare England’s “adjusted” score with every other country’s unadjusted score and to downplay the result of Gove’s reform by comparing the “adjusted” score with the pre-Gove unadjusted one.

  5. It would be nice if there was some more or less universal test that 100.000’s of young adults take worldwide so that relatively accurate comparisons can be made using sufficiently large numbers on a large numner of subjects…

    Oh wait…

  6. @Ljh – April 22, 2021 at 10:49 am

    Mind you he should have been unemployable after his BSE modelling.

    Considering the damage to the farming community that resulted from his “expertise” he should have been in jail…

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