Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Taking the Pisa again.

It seem that when the PISA results come out all we have to do is rewrite the same articles or blogs we wrote three years ago .

Yes its a case of Deva Ju, and Wales’ schools system has been ranked the worst in the UK in the international PISA tests published today.Results from tests taken by 15-year-olds across Wales for the OECD survey of standards across the globe show we are adrift of the global and UK average in reading, maths and science.
In Wales, 3,500 pupils took the tests
Scores show we not only do worse on average than the other UK nations, but also have fewer high performing and more low performing students in science, reading and maths.
It is the fourth consecutive set of Pisa results in which Wales' students have performed worse than the rest of the UK.
These statistics show how Wales' scores have failed to improve in Maths and Reading for 10 years, which falling back significantly in Science.
It gets even more embarrassing when  it allows the the chief inspector of schools in England to claim that the   Wales and Scotland's results the  a major study of educational performance are 
"dragging the UK down", 
Ofsted boss Sir Michael Wilshaw told the BBC News Channel that Welsh education is "paying the price" for abandoning standard assessment tests.
He said,
: "England's results are, I think, pretty good. The focus of Pisa this year was science and we've improved our position from 21st to 15th.
"We're doing better than the other home nations - Scotland and Wales. Their results are dragging the UK performance down a bit."
 remember when the Welsh Government took away all the accountability measures that we have in England - Sats, testing and so on - and that was disastrous, absolutely disastrous and Welsh education is paying the price for that.
"We didn't do that in England. We kept the testing at [ages] seven, 11, 14 and we kept accountabilit
y and that's what the Welsh system lost."
Wales abandoned Sats and school performance league tables in 2004.
Is that the cause of our poor performance ? Well  it is an argument that has some merit in that it prepares students for such testing later and could identify weaknesses.
When I said we could repeat what was written 3 years ago  there would be one omission , the former La Passionaria of the opposition benches  said in 2013
the then Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Kirsty Williams tweeted: "
Really sad and angry that 14 years of Welsh Labour Education Policy has led us to these #PISA results."

She is now of course the Education Minister in the "not a coalition" government so it provides a problem of the Lib Dems who now are led by the sole Welsh Lib Dem MP since they have no AMs on the opposition benches .

Mark Williams  said,

It is extremely disappointing to see Wales, once again, lagging far behind the rest of the UK. Sadly it is not a surprise. We are playing catch up and cannot afford to waste a single moment in raising standards for all pupils and schools.
"It is no easy task, but Kirsty Williams and the Welsh Lib Dems have already proved ourselves up to the job. In opposition the Welsh Lib Dems secured more than £280m to support our poorest pupils. In Government, working with teachers, parents and pupils, Kirsty is driving forward much needed reforms.
"We know that great leadership and excellent teachers are the best way
to improve our school system. I welcome that Kirsty Williams has prioritised a new Leadership Academy, reform of teaching training and a relentless focus on raising standards and reducing the attainment gap.
“Wales must now stick with Kirsty’s plan which will deliver the education system that our yo
ung people, and the country, needs and deserves."
Now clearly the former La Passionaria, after less than a year in the job cannot be blamed for the current results .

But if she had not taken the what is admittedly a poison chalice.I very much doubt that she would have been reticent from  the opposition benches yesterday  and agree that a New Education Minister should have time to settle down.

That part of the problem, in that a response to the PISA results could result in changes and the current one abandoned although  three years is to short evaluate them.

So we respond by changing the Minster and then the curriculum , but do we give enough time to see tat any reforms work?

But clearly under Labour in the Assembly  we have seen constant failure when you look at exam results as well as the PISA rankings and they have failed to come to grips with the stark problems that face Education in Wales.

I admit I don't know what the answer is , and we should be careful in how we criticise if we don;t have any solutions ourselves.

But we can't go on like it . It is part of the Job of the opposition to point out government failings.

Three years from now I will probably be writing the same Blog and that the improvement sought  by the "not a coalition minister" may have not taken place,

Even a minor improvement may allow her to claim that her polices are working.

But how much longer can we be both failing our Children and our Nation as we seek to catch up with the rest of the world ?

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