Young people struggling in digital world, finds latest OECD PISA survey

One in four students in OECD countries are unable to complete even the most basic reading tasks, meaning they are likely to struggle to find their way through life in an increasingly volatile, digital world. This is one of the findings of the OECD’s latest PISA global education test, which evaluates the quality, equity and efficiency of school systems.The OECD’s PISA 2018 tested around 600,000 15-year-old students in 79 countries and economies on reading, science and mathematics. The main focus was on reading, with most students doing the test on computers.Most countries, particularly in the developed world, have seen little…

New statistical model improves the predictive power of standardized test scores

A study has validated a new statistical model that uses multiple standardized test scores over time to predict future academic performance. The dynamic measurement model accurately predicted academic performance decades in the future, and the predictions were three times better than current assessment methods. The model can be implemented immediately by using existing standardized test scores, such as annual assessments given to school children. Source: ScienceDaily

DfE opts England’s schools out of new Pisa creativity test

Ministers have decided that England should opt out of a new test into creative thinking being added to the Pisa international education rankings, Tes can reveal.Critics have condemned the decision as “very unhelpful” and an “emotional-political gut reaction”.England already has a mixed record on participation in the extra tests added to every edition of the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), despite ministers’ enthusiasm for the rankings the study produces.   The optional creative thinking test is being added to the Pisa assessment for 2021. But last night the Department for Education told Tes that England would not take part. Source: Tes

Educators, students hail India’s proposal to scrap exams

Change is in the air for the Indian education system as the country’s Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is planning to do away with school exams from 2021, The Indian Express reported.As per recommendations of the draft National Education Policy (NEP) committee, the MHRD will modernise the evaluation process from 2021, the newspaper quoted an MHRD official as saying. This will be a major departure from the legacies of the NEP, which followed the “10+2” format in the school education system since 1968. The government is examining all possibilities to finalise the NEP by October 2020, with the policies…

Exam board AQA to pay out £1.1m over rule breaches and errors 

The exam board AQA is to pay more than £1.1m in fines and compensation for a string of rule breaches, errors and failings in GCSEs and A-levels that regulators said could seriously undermine public confidence in the qualifications system.Ofqual, which oversees school exams in England, said it had levied its largest ever fine on AQA after 50,000 appeals for exam papers to be reviewed or re-marked, spread across three years between 2016 and 2018, were carried out by AQA staff who had already marked the same papers. Source: The Guardian

Indian students wear boxes on their heads to prevent cheating

A school in India has apologized after photos emerged of students wearing cardboard boxes on their heads during an exam to discourage cheating.The Bhagat Pre-University College in Haveri, in India’s southwestern Karnataka state, implemented a trial run of the new measure last Wednesday, according to school management head M.B. Sateesh. A staff member photographed the students sitting in neat rows, their heads obscured by cardboard boxes.The front of the boxes had been cut out, allowing students to see their desks and exam sheets but restricting their vision, similar to blinkers used on a horse Source: CNN

Record number of colleges drop SAT/ACT admissions requirements amid growing disenchantment with standardized tests

It may not quite have reached a tipping point, but the admissions world is clearly grappling with the use of standardized tests in admissions.Research has consistently shown that ACT and SAT scores are strongly linked to family income, mother’s education level and race. The College Board and ACT Inc., which owns the ACT, say their tests are predictive of college success, but (as with many education issues) there is also research showing otherwise.The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, a nonprofit known as FairTest, just analyzed SAT scores for the high school class of 2019. It reported that the…

India’s high-stakes testing culture needs to be dismantled

Every exam season, this phrase can be singularly responsible for hope, despair, dread or celebration among test takers in India. Test taking is serious business, and much like weddings, it is a matter of substantial family pride. A transcript, called a marksheet in India,  can determine whether one’s parents will be calling the neighbors to boast about their child’s success, or turning their phones off and avoiding social contact.The Indian exam system has become a catalyst for social mobility, and—depending on results—the tests can offer the hope of a bright future. This, in turn, ratchets up the tests’ stakes, and…

Developing capacity in formative assessment

ACER designed and facilitated a NEQMAP workshop to build formative assessment capacity in education systems in the Asia-Pacific. Doug McCurry and Stewart Monckton report.A consortium of high-level education policymakers, researchers, government and non-government agencies collaborated to present the Network on Education Quality Monitoring in Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP) Capacity Development Workshop in late June in Bandung, Indonesia. The four-day workshop centred on the theme ‘School-based, Classroom, Teacher and Formative Assessment – Assessment for Learning’.There was a great demand to participate in the workshop. Forty five participants from 14 countries in the region were selected by the NEQMAP Secretariat through an expression of…