For decades teachers have struggled with how to better understand their students’ performance. The issue comes down to a few key challenges: (1) designing standardised tests year after year is difficult to do, in particular, producing tests that are consistent in their challenges and complexities, (2) comparing the results of just the students within your school makes it difficult to understand how the school as a whole is performing and where teachers can make the biggest improvements, and (3) tests normally don’t provide enough context for why student might be over or under performing.
These are the challenges that the OECD PISA for Schools Test was designed to address in the UK. The OECD or Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is an international organisation instituted to find answers to complex social, economic and environmental challenges. Their program, PISA, is made to assess students in reading, mathematics and science, and then use this data to help benchmark students internationally. These results are then fed back to educators and policymakers to help them make better decisions about where to allocate funds and effort to maximise their students’ learning.
What is the OECD PISA for Schools Test?
When we talk about PISA, we are in fact talking about two different assessments. The first is PISA or the Program for International Student Assessment. This is a country level assessment that is run every three years to assess student abilities internationally and develop a benchmark for comparison. The second is the PISA for Schools Test, this is based on the first assessment but is run annually and designed to provide in-depth school-level reporting for educators using the international benchmarks.
The OECD PISA for Schools Test is taken in two parts:
What are the benefits of the PISA for Schools Test?
The PISA for Schools Test helps UK schools to address the three major challenges of standardised tests: