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PISA 2018: New Results, but Still Doesn’t Measure Student Success.

WASHINGTON - December 03, 2019 -

December 03, 2019 - Earlier today the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the latest results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a test of reading, mathematics, and science given every three years to fifteen-year-olds in more than seventy countries. This year’s results showed a slight improvement in scores across the board for U.S. students from previous years, moving national averages above OECD average in reading and science, while still falling below in math. Below is a statement from NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:

“It’s a mistake to make the PISA results more than they are.  These numbers are a single indicator of performance, but even given that, what we clearly see is that all the “test-and-punish” reforms have actually hurt our most vulnerable students.  It’s also clear that systems consistently scoring at the top are those that rejected the standardize, privatize, de-professionalize school models.  Successful systems did exactly what our #RedforEd movement demands: making every public school as good as our best public schools.

“These top performing countries followed the same blueprint: they invested heavily in their students, educators, and schools regardless of socio-economic standing. It shouldn’t be surprising that spending more money on students and paying educators a living wage leads to better student achievement. These practices aren’t moonshots, a lesson which seems to be lost on Betsy DeVos and the current Administration. 

“But every teacher knows that test scores don’t measure a child's worth nor potential, and that no place in the world is the same as the next. That’s why the NEA has informed and helped implement proven education policies that are created and tested by educators, for educators. We're rolling up our sleeves and building community schools that support students on the bus every morning, throughout lessons, during lunch, at after-school activities, and everything in-between. We know that investing in all aspects of schooling is central to helping every student succeed to their potential.

“Education has always been, and continues to be essential to opportunity and the very foundation of participatory democracy. Test scores can’t measure that. But we can help every single student achieve if we look outward at PISA and what’s working around the world, as well as reflect inward on our priorities as a country and what can be done to make them fairer and just. Both are aligned, and the path to success is clear. It’s time to put education first, and increase funding to every student, teacher, and public school in America.”

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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Michael Parker
(202) 822-7946,