The nation’s governors and other policymakers have advocated a deeply flawed European test to judge American students, a private study has found.
The National Governors Association and other groups have been pushing states to compare their kids’ performance to that of students around the world. The idea is to help the U.S. gain on better-performing countries by borrowing their best ideas.
To compare American schoolchildren, the governors have urged states to use tests including the Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA, which is given to high school students in 57 countries. But the Brookings Institution, in a report released Tuesday, said the PISA test is too flawed.
The PISA test goes beyond learning to measure values and beliefs, the report found. For example, PISA asks students whether they favor laws that protect the habitats of endangered species. And it asks if children favor electricity from renewable sources and regulating factory emissions.
“These are political judgments,” said Tom Loveless, the study’s author. “For me as a citizen, before I would agree or disagree with any of them, I’d need to know more about them.”
The report is available for download from the Brookings Institution Web site here.