CASGE lecture: How is a system for improving global education doing harm?

Martin Carnoy (back row, center left) and attendees of the February CASGE Distinguished Lecture

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.

On February 27, Martin Carnoy delivered the Spring 2020 Distinguished Lecture for the Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College: “How International Testing is Distorting Worldwide Educational Policy.”

Lecture audio and slides


Speaking for a live audience on the ASU Tempe campus as well as for online viewers, Carnoy explored controversies surrounding international testing, including:

  • 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? 

Martin Carnoy is the Vida Jacks Professor of Education and Economics at Stanford University, and co-director there of the Lemann Center, which works to support Brazilian efforts to make a giant leap forward in their educational system. 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, Carnoy 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.