Impact of PISA 2006 on the education policy debate

Laura Figazzolo

published 20 December 2007 updated 17 January 2022

PISA 2006 has proven to have an enormous impact on the education policy debate at worldwide level. First and foremost, PISA has been at the centre of the debate about national education policies, in many ways. On the one side, in fact, it has often managed to orientate governments‟ political choices for education. On the other side, it has also provided unions with valuable evidence in support of their cause.

Second, an increasing attention, by the media, to PISA has granted the survey continuous consideration, bringing it, and educational issues, in general, to the public awareness. Yet media have not acted as simple “mediators” of the results of PISA. On the contrary, by narrowing down the focus to rankings, they have often conveyed a very simplistic interpretation of educational issues, and, from this basis, have often operated as a proactive agent of the policy orientation promoted by the OECD, or for that matter, by the more conservative media. Moreover, media worldwide have generally promoted a “copy and paste” approach based on implanting the features of well-performing school systems into other (poorly performing) countries.