Mexico suspended the application of the PISA test for high school students, it is unclear whether this implies the full exit of the programme that is part of the OECD.
A PISA official in Paris confirmed to Mexicans against Corruption and Impunity that Mexico’s participation in PISA is suspended and that as far as they are aware, field tests are not being applied.
“We understand that Mexico’s involvement in PISA is suspended (…) We haven’t been able to hear about details in the last couple of months,” Tue Halgreen, senior analyst at PISA’s French headquarters, said in an email sent to MCCI.
According to the calendar, Mexico should be conducting field tests at this time for the 2022 evaluation, Halgreen said. As far as PISA’s headquarters are aware, and mcCI confirmed with education experts, this is not happening.
PISA is a 15-year-old exam that is applied every three years to measure reading, math and science skills and in which Mexico has been participating since 2000.
PISA is affiliated with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development of which Mexico is a member.
Also read: Pisa Test: Why do Latin American countries do so badly?
The last evaluation was carried out in 2018 and the next one was scheduled for 2021, but the Covid-19 pandemic was postponed by 2022, with field testing in 2021. According to headquarters, of the 87 countries applying the Mexico test, it would be the only country that has suspended its participation.
The field test, which Mexico says Mexico is not conducting, is an exam similar to the final evaluation, but which applies only to a sample of the 15-year-old student to review that the test is designed correctly and understandably for all students. With field tests applied to all participating countries PISA makes improvements to the evaluation that later applies to all 15-year-olds.
According to experts consulted by MCCI not taking the field test is a warning that the country will not participate in the PISA 2022 evaluation.
Unlike other assessments, more than PISA knowledge measures a 15-year-old’s ability to continue learning, so that each country can compare the skills of its students of that age.
Alma Maldonado Maldonado, researcher in the Department of Educational Research at CINVESTAV, explained to MCCI that PISA serves to make decisions on education.
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“The pisa theme has always been what you’re going to do (from the results) and there we’ve always fallen short. PISA is good for many things and was used rhetorically to say we need Peña Nieto’s education reform, what was going to get better? I don’t know, she fell short and there was no time. Now let’s say I don’t even participate and I don’t even have that parameter, I guess the government assumes that we have to believe that things are okay or that they’re as they tell us,” Maldonado said.
This would not be the first review that the current management cancels. In 2019, Unesco’s ERCE test – which applies to third and sixth graders was applied, but the Andrés Manuel López Obrador government announced its departure from the program, so the results of the evaluation were no longer made public. If PISA is not applied it would only be Planned, the evaluation made by the Ministry of Education.
In 2019, the current administration disappeared the National Institute for Educational Assessment, an autonomous body, and created Mejoredu that depends on the Secretariat of Public Education.
“There is no longer an evaluation, the evaluation institute is going to disappear because that was an imposition, I repeat, dictated from abroad, docilely accepted by the governments of Mexico, eager, eager, accepted evaluation of the teachers,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said.
The then Secretary of Education, Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, said mexico would continue to apply the PISA test: “The results of the 2018 PISA test, which revealed that about 50% of Mexican students do not have the necessary skills to develop in society, will serve as input to make decisions in education policy.”
Maldonado, an education expert, said that without being perfect PISA isa is the most important test in the world to compare education and advances in other countries in this field.
“When Secretary Moctezuma was asked that we were going to evaluate his reform, he said that with PISA, how are we going to know if these constitutional changes have worked or not?” questioned MalDonated.
MCCI sought out authorities in Mejoredu to learn about the status of the PISA 2022 evaluation, but did not get a response.
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