Rifts Over Global Test of Learning

Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, Sept 20, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

For years, OECD has run the Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA, and people have been more or less OK with it. Well, there have been some objections, but these have been swept under the rug as journalists and educators played with the nice shiny numbers. But now that OECD is looking at applying the same sort of methodology to higher education, academics are less sanguine. "We hold strongly the view that it is possible to measure outcomes and enhance quality without promoting standardization of educational programs and homogenization of institutional missions." Well, yeah. Critics said the same about the education of 15-year olds. The critics were swept aside by economic imperative.

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