Pasi Sahlberg Blog

Finnish education reform

The PISA 2012 scores show the failure of ‘market based’ education reform

"A truly successful education system has students of all socio-economic backgrounds scoring highly on PISA tests" When PISA results were first presented 12 years ago, the participating countries were excited to see how their school systems perform compared to one another. Now the launch of the fifth PISA results is accompanied by more criticism than before due to the issues with cross-country comparisons and the dominant role…

read more

PISA 2012 reinforces the key elements of the Finnish Way

When the OECD published its fifth PISA results this week, they became the main news in England, Sweden, the U.S. and Finland, among other places. What the public was told in all of these countries was the position of their school systems in the global PISA league tables. Although PISA is first and foremost a yardstick for the wealthy OECD countries, these league tables include rapidly developing cities from Far East and less-developed…

read more

Is PISA dimming the Northern Lights?

The world has now had a week to recover from the hangover caused by the release of fifth OECD PISA results. All Asian countries, including newcomer Vietnam, have celebrated success of their education reforms, especially improved test scores in mathematics, reading and science. Politicians and pundits in Estonia, Poland, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland had also reasons to toast their advanced ranks in global PISA league tables.…

read more

Are Finland’s vaunted schools slipping?

The irony of Finland’s successful school system is that the Finns never aimed to be better than anyone else — except, it is often humorously claimed, Sweden. Since the announcement of the first results of the Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, in 2001, Finland has been the center of educational attention.  Finland’s PISA scores  topped the…

read more