EI has sent out a circular to affiliates in the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) urging them to take actions about their national government's plans to participate in OECD's two surveys, PISA 2006 and the 2007 OECD Survey of Teachers and Learning.
PISA 2006 The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) will conduct its third cycle this year. PISA is a three-yearly survey of 15 year-olds in the 30 OECD member countries and 27 partner countries. OECD states that "it assesses the extent to which students near the end of compulsory education have acquired the knowledge and skills essential in everyday life. They are tested in the domains of reading, mathematical and scientific literacy and complete a background questionnaire." For 2006, the focus will be on science. The results are generally published in the following year. When the report comes out it attracts widespread media attention – being front-page news in many countries, and being featured on TV and radio. PISA 2003, released in 2004, provided much valuable information on issues of quality and equity in education. However, simplistic interpretation of the data by politicians and others can be misleading, and can run counter to the goals that are defended by EI and its affiliates. For these reasons, EI has been monitoring the development of PISA 2006, working closely with the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) at the OECD. We are also seeking more direct union involvement in future PISA work. OECD Survey of Teachers, Teaching and Learning The OECD is also developing a Survey of Teachers, Teaching and Learning, to be conducted for the first time in 2007. Again, EI and TUAC are monitoring developments closely. Please follow the link below to the article on the current situation with both surveys, prepared by EI Senior Consultant Bob Harris, who chairs the TUAC Working Group on Education, Training and Employment. EI recommends that member organisations contact their national education ministries to obtain information about plans for national participation in these two surveys, and intervene accordingly. It is by linking EI’s work at the OECD level with EI affiliates’ work at national level, that our advocacy will be the most effective.