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ERIC Number: ED559246
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 46
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Confusion in the Ranks: How Good Are England's Schools?
Smithers, Alan
Sutton Trust
Understanding how well English education performs compared with other countries is a valuable exercise, particularly because the information can help England and other countries learn from successful systems. The most recent international league tables of pupil performance differ considerably. England languishes well down the list in PISA 2009, stars in the Pearson Global Index 2012, and lies somewhere in-between in TIMSS 2011. This report seeks to explain the differences and highlight some underlying consistencies. There are three main reasons for the different rankings: (1) Countries are ranked on scores which may not be different; (2) Different countries are involved; and (3) The tests differ, and some countries are ahead on one, but not the other. In this report, Professor Alan Smithers, of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham, shows that these apparently different results owe more to the composition of the tables than to any significant difference in performance. Despite the differences in the test results, there are lessons that can be learned from two important groups of countries--East Asia and Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and the Netherlands--once the apparent differences between the tables are removed. Whatever England's ranking, there are two fundamental issues that remain: (1) England's education system is, with exception of a couple of countries, the most socially segregated in the developed world; and (2) England has far fewer young people achieving the highest grades on PISA maths tests. The hope for future testing is that the tests will improve the understanding of the effectiveness of different education systems, as well as enable more valid comparisons between nations. [Foreword by Peter Lampl.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Sutton Trust (England)
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment; Progress in International Reading Literacy Study; Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study