PISA star Shanghai could quit test league

The Program for International Student Assessment’s star performer, Shanghai, is considering pulling out of PISA’s test league tables for fear the tests are a straitjacket on learning.

Shanghai was ranked the best-performing region in the world in the last two rounds of tests.

Yi Houqin, an official in the Shanghai Education Commission, told the daily Xinmin Wanbao that “Shanghai does not need so-called ‘number one schools’. What it needs are schools that follow sound educational principles, respect principles of students’ physical and psychological development and lay a solid foundation for students’ lifelong
development.”

John Bangs, chair of the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee’s education working group, told the British education magazine TES that “PISA needs an alternative to the league table approach as they have become a juggernaut”.

Michael O’Sullivan, chief executive of Cambridge International Examinations, said Chinese officials were concerned about “the number of hours their students are spending on education, and the impact that is having on child development”.