OECD ‘debunks myth’ that poor will fail at school

The BBC is reporting an analysis of Pisa tests by the OECD’s Andreas Schleicher which suggests there is nothing inevitable about the weaker academic performance of poorer pupils…

Mr Schleicher, who runs the tests, says the high results of deprived pupils in some Asian countries shows what poor pupils in the UK could achieve.

The most disadvantaged pupils in Shanghai match the maths test results of wealthy pupils in the UK.

Mr Schleicher says it “debunks the myth that poverty is destiny”.

…Mr Schleicher’s latest analysis compares the performance of the most deprived 10% of pupils.

This reveals how the poorest in many countries overlap with the results of the wealthy in other countries.

The poorest 10% of pupils in Shanghai are as good as the most privileged 20% of teenagers taking the test in the UK and the United States.

In Europe, the Netherlands has the highest-performing pupils from the poorest families.

Poor pupils in the Netherlands are as good at maths as much better-off teenagers in France.

The poorest 10% of pupils in Hong Kong scored at a higher level than the wealthiest in Sweden and Norway.

The very lowest performers among this group were in the Slovak Republic.

Mr Schleicher says it shows how differences because of social background should not be unquestioningly tolerated.

“We tend to overestimate the impact of poverty,” he says.

More at: OECD ‘debunks myth’ that poor will fail at school

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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Does this not suggest a difference in attitude towards education? An attitude that’s known about for years but govt ignore..

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove ..choosing instead to blame teachers for poor performance. In countries talked about, education still a privilege. Here?

  3. Janet2

    The OECD did NOT say that poverty was never a barrier.  Countless OECD reports point to the correlation between disadvantage and performance.  What Schleicher said was that it wasn’t destiny – there were “resilient” pupils who bucked the trend.  

    Even in Shanghai, where 70% of disadvantaged pupils are resilient, 30% aren’t.

    That’s still a good statistic, of course, but before comparing countries we need to know whether all the disadvantaged pupils aged 15/16 in school or whether they dropped out and are earning a living.

  4. KMPF_partners

    SchoolsImprove Country comparisons about one aspect has questionable value when the whole education system and culture are different.

  5. Edward_Pryce

    SchoolsImprove ‘debunk’ from one analysis? Sadly thousands of others show a link. If it happens ‘within’ single ed. system ia fair test!

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