CASGE Distinguished Lecture Series: How International Testing is Distorting Worldwide Educational Policy

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  • martin_carnoyJoin us for How International Testing is Distorting Worldwide Educational Policy, presented by Martin Carnoy, the Vida Jacks Professor of Education and Economics at Stanford University. This lecture is part of our CASGE Distinguished Lecture Series.

    Biography: Martin Carnoy is the Vida Jacks Professor of Education and Economics at Stanford University. He is co-director of the Lemann Center at Stanford, a former president of the Comparative and International Education Society and a fellow of the National Academy of Education and of the International Academy of Education. He has written more than 40 books and more than 150 articles on the economic value of education, the political economy of educational policy, educational production, and higher education. Much of his work is comparative and international and investigates the way educational systems are organized. Recent books include, Cuba’s Academic Advantage (2007), Vouchers and Public School Performance (2007), The Low Achievement Trap: Comparing Schools in Botswana and South Africa (2012), University Expansion in a Changing Global Economy (2014), and Transforming Comparative Education (2019). He graduated from Caltech in electrical engineering and from the University of Chicago (Ph.D. in economics).

    Lecture Abstract: Fifty years ago, international testing was launched as a way to collect more data for developing an understanding of educational systems in a comparative perspective. Today, international testing has gained a life of its own, and average test scores are being used to define the quality of educational systems and even the quality of labor forces. In some cases, such as the OECD’s PISA test, educational policy lessons are derived from cross-section correlational analyses and from the characteristics of educational systems in high scoring countries. Is this type of analysis of international test data for policy justified or does it distort comparative education research? Can these data be used more effectively to gain insights into education across countries and within countries? 

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