PISA stands for the Programme for International Student Assessment. It is a test administered by the OECD in many countries around the world. You might have heard about the test because of the international league tables comparing systems of education that are created after the results are released. In recent years, Finland and Shanghai have come out on top, unleashing a wave study trips to those place by policymakers who want to learn the secret of good education.

Bob Lingard, a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, has spent many years researching the rise of global education governance (see for example this article). He sees the PISA for Schools program as part of the expanding work in education by the OECD. He spoke with me in mid-January about his recent article and recounts the historical evolution of the OECD’s work in education. He ultimately questions the comparative value of the PISA for Schools program.