With the results of the PISA tests due out this week I thought now would be a good time to look at schools. These tests produce what is essentially a league table of education systems. The OECD tests half a million 15 year olds across 65 mostly rich countries to see how much progress they have made in maths, reading and science. This provides some of the best information on how international education systems compare.
My hope with this series of posts is to provide a defence of an egalitarian education system relative to the selective or private systems.
I was mostly educated at state schools that didn’t select. However, I did also spend two and a half years at a private schools. And frankly that experience has made me dubious about educational elitism. My comprehensive school taught me well, while leaving me less sheltered than many of the privately educated people I met at Oxford. By contrast, my parents pulled me out of one my private schools because it was so bad.
Now discussions about policy are beset by what I just did – using personal anecdotes as evidence even though they may be the exception rather than the rule. However – as I’m planning to show over the next week – more concrete evidence supports the idea that comprehensive education is the best system available.
N.B: obviously if this year’s PISA results show something very different from previous years then I may need to re-evaluate