The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has decided to postpone the publication of part of the Spanish results of the PISA Report, whose publication is scheduled for December 3, after detecting anomalies in the students' responses in the test Reading in some areas of Spain.
In a statement, the OECD explains that it is working with the Government of Spain to "identify the causes" of "anomalous" behavior of the responses to the reading test that "do not reflect the real level of student competence."
In addition, the OECD does not rule out that tests of mathematical and scientific skills are also affected by this "anomalous behavior", although to a lesser extent. The Spanish results of these tests will be published, together with those of the other countries participating in the PISA Report, on December 3.
Nearly 40,000 students from 1,102 institutes of all Spanish communities participated last year in the tests of the Report of the International Program for the Evaluation of Students, known as PISA for its acronym in English, which since 2000 evaluates the abilities of students Everyone in reading, math and science.
The tests of the Pisa Report are intended for 15-year-old students, just as they approach to complete compulsory education, and are held every three years. In Spain, the tests are applied in all the autonomous communities with an expanded sample of about 50 centers in each region that will allow obtaining autonomous results. The choice of centers is random, and in the same way the 42 students who take the test in each institute are selected by chance.20 QUESTIONS IN 25 SECONDS
According to the OECD statement, "the data from Spain have met the technical standards of PISA and no technical error or manipulation of them has been appreciated", although "some data show an unlikely response behavior by students" .
Specifically, in the reading test "a significant number of Spanish students responded to a new section of the reading test (the reading fluency section) in a way that was patent that did not represent their real reading competence," explains the OECD .
"As this evaluation was done through a computer, the students' actions were recorded and it was possible to track what they did. In many cases, the students answered the reading fluency section in a hurried way, using less than 25 seconds in total to answer more than 20 questions ", they add from the OECD, pointing out that this represents the main anomaly of the tests.
In other countries, students who took this test "generally spent 50 seconds to more than two minutes to answer this section, depending on how quickly they could read."
The OECD states that "this response behavior" was not widespread throughout Spain, and has been registered "especially in certain schools in some areas" of the country that does not detail. "The extension and concentration of responses of this type, very fast and following a certain pattern, has taken place only in Spain, and affects performance data in reading," he adds.
"Once we know the extent of the problem in depth and understand its causes and consequences, the OECD will decide what is the best way to publish the Reading results in Spain. Meanwhile, these results should not be made public either totally or partially" , the OECD ruling in the statement.
The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, which coordinates the test in Spain through the National Institute for Educational Evaluation (INEE), has declined to assess this decision of the OECD.