Argentina has not been included in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s ranking of education quality because the information provided by the country was deemed insufficient. The OECD-designed PISA test evaluates the academic performance of 15-year-olds in 71 countries around the world in math, science and reading comprehension. It’s been conducted every three years since 2000.
In the 2015 PISA, 7,500 Argentine students participated from 238 different schools, but the results won’t be counted. It’s the first time that the country has been excluded. Argentina has participated every year since 2000 except for 2003, following the economic crisis between 2001 and 2002.
“In Argentina, the PISA test was implemented in accordance with the OECD’s operating standards and guidelines. However, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of 15-year-olds that took the assessment, both in absolute and relative terms,” the 2015 PISA report said.
The report said there was a re-structuring of secondary schools in the country, and for this reason the number of schools listed in the sample decreased. The OECD said that because there were modifications to the sample, the results for PISA 2015 would not be comparable with those of other countries, nor with those from previous tests in Argentina.
On Monday, December 5, OECD Director of of Education and Skills Andreas Schleicher told La Nacion that the omission of schools from the sample framework presented by Argentina had the potential to affect students represented in the sample.
Five months ago, when the OECD started the sampling, suspicions arose regarding the reliability of Argentina’s results. Officials in President Mauricio Macri’s administration had already been made aware the OECD was questioning Argentina’s numbers.
The OECD’s report does, however, present results for Buenos Aires, which provided its own separate results. The city placed 38, above other Latin American countries like Chile, but far below countries like Singapore, which placed first. Buenos Aires students had the greatest improvement among all PISA participants in the sciences, which school administrators reportedly prioritized.
“We have worked since President Macri took office to be committed to the truth,” he said during a press conference. “And (previous results) resemble a country that had no commitment to statistics and truth.”
Minister of Education Esteban Bulrich said they made a “serious mistake” in their testing methodology during the Kirchner administrations.