New book garnering global attention

January 16, 2018
Jen Janzen, ATA News Staff

An ATA-commissioned book that considers the merits and pitfalls of global education standards is earning international accolades.

The Global Education Race: Taking the Measures of PISA and International Testing, written by David Rutkowski, Sam Sellar and Greg Thompson, was released in 2017. It explores the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which was developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as well as other international testing.

The book was named one of the top 10 books of 2017 for teachers and school leaders by Schools Week, with features editor Cath Murray recommending it for the “discerning, data-savvy edu-nerd.”

William Smith, a senior policy analyst with UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report, wrote an in-depth review that appeared in the December edition of Education Review, produced by Arizona State University. Smith noted that while PISA results are complex, with the OECD itself cautioning against focusing on league tables, national ranking is often the main result highlighted in the media.

Smith wrote that The Global Education Race helps media consumers evaluate the reality of PISA, providing the necessary insights to address key questions that should be asked when any set of rules are presented.”

ATA president Greg Jeffery said the book is an important step in engaging a discussion around the growing influence of international testing.

“These endeavours carry a cost in both administrative time and downstream cost to schools in terms of increased teacher workload and lost instructional time,” Jeffery said. “The proliferation of ‘big data’ has shifted resources and attention away from the conversation about barriers to educational improvement.” ❚