The Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) has become one of the most influential forces in global education. The growing influence has been accompanied by growing criticism. For nearly two decades since the first round of PISA was conducted in 2000, the global assessment program has been roundly scrutinized and criticized by education researchers all over the world. But the mounting criticism seems to have had little impact on PISA’s influence as evidenced by its growing power in global education policy and practice. The lack of impact of criticism does not mean the criticism is not valid or PISA has improved. It simply means that the criticism has been largely ignored. The lack of impact is no reason to give up exposing PISA as a flawed business that has great power to misguide education. The expanding influence of the PISA enterprise makes it more even more important to be critical of this juggernaut today. It is also important to consider more effective and more straightforward approaches to present the criticism. The purpose of this article is to present a summary of criticisms that reveal the most fundamental flaws of PISA in non-technical language in one place. Specifically, the article focuses on criticisms of PISA’s three fundamental deficiencies: its underlying view of education, its implementation, and its interpretation and impact on education globally.
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Zhao, Y. Two decades of havoc: A synthesis of criticism against PISA. J Educ Change 21, 245–266 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10833-019-09367-x
- International assessment
- Educational policy
- International and comparative education
- Purpose of education
- Future of education
- Education reform
- Educational change