PISA results – “no evidence that selective systems are any better” – expert reaction

Expert reaction from Professor Stephen Gorard, School of Education, Durham University on importance of selective systems:

“Despite best intentions, this ‘international horse race’ is imperfect but again it is clear that:

The results for OECD countries with explicit early selection of students, such as Germany and Austria, are not among the very highest performers. They do not have better results than England with its mostly non-selective system and they tend to have worse gaps between highest and lowest attainers.

Note also that the results for Northern Ireland which remains a largely selective system are lower than for England. And the highest attainers in NI have lower average scores than those in England.

These things might not mean much due to the necessarily imperfect nature of the tests and achieved samples, but it is absolutely clear that PISA offers no evidence that selective systems are better in any respect.”

Notes:

Professor Gorard’s work can be seen here: https://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/education/AVIRTUALFREETOACCESSWORKBYSTEPHENGORARD.pdf

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