Has the Institute for Government been primed to try to influence the Scottish elections by providing ‘oven-ready’ bad news?

From reader Alex Lee-MacDonald:

Exactly, actual Education experts like Prof Mark Priestley and Dr Marina Shapira argue that the big “decline” in Maths in PISA came in 2006 before the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence- see https://mrpriestley.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/what-do-the-pisa-results-tell-us-about-scottish-education/. Supposed declines since then are not statistically significant (maybe UK education systems should be better at teaching journalists statistical literacy!)

The declines between 2003 and 2006 actually seem pretty odd to me and I would probably guess they are due to sampling methods.

PISA is clearly seriously flawed and I was disappointed the Institute for Government gave it so much weight (though to be fair the actual report is more nuanced than the reporting of it suggests).

As mentioned in another comment above, it looks like England’s good performance in Maths in 2018 was likely due to sampling bias (and there is hard GCSE data to show that the sample was definitely biased). It appears England has been including too many schools with high attainment and too few schools with low attainment in its sample. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/apr/22/maths-scores-in-world-education-rankings-inflated-for-england-and-wales-study

I imagine this issue (and similar) is widespread in the PISA study (the actual study reported in the Guardian also criticised Scotland’s sampling methods but there was no hard data to show a definitely biased sample like there was for England and Wales). Given there’s no OECD post-PISA analysis (once exam results are known) to find out if samples were actually biased, it doesn’t look like OECD are interested in fixing this issue.

6 thoughts on “Has the Institute for Government been primed to try to influence the Scottish elections by providing ‘oven-ready’ bad news?

  1. John
    You ask if they primed for this
    Bet you house on it
    The dark forces have ordered all ordnance facilities onto a war footing
    With all called to battle stations to prepare and hand over their produce to be loaded into the propaganda rifles of all in the MSM to load aim and fire
    Time for us to adorn a Full metal jacket
    Know thy foes

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Are they breaking election rules by publishing such skewed articles?
    Not that they are averse to breaking rules, or laws as we have seen much to most peoples’ horror. On their website, you could spend all day, or weeks even, watching videos of ‘former government minsiters’, Tory, Labour and Libdems, on ‘how to be effective in government’. Ah hah…riiighty oh. No ta.


  3. Are they reporting PISA again ? Is is it that guy from Dundee Uni again ..? I think he,s called ..DICK
    He isnt up to date his methods went out with the wooden wheel

    Scottish education and Scottish NHS they hate and fear because its better than that lot below us , below us in standards and below us on the map too


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