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Cleverlands: Inside the world’s best classrooms

I’ve been a skeptic of much PISA based policy tourism for a while. Back in 2012 I highlighted “The curious case of PISA and suicide” whereby no country seemed to outperform England in PISA without also having a higher suicide rate. More recently I’ve been somewhat obsessed with John Jerrim’s work showing that Asian country’s PISA performance is not quite as …

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Have academic standards really stagnated?

In his recent blog post, Sam Freedman asks why, if pupils have become more sensible and happier, we haven’t seen “a commensurate, observable, rise in academic standards?” As Sam points out, it’s a question we need data and measures to answer. In this blog I ask what information we have available and whether it really …

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Evidence and Judgment. Is Gove suffering from ‘Bad Faith’?

 “When… a military leader takes upon himself the responsibility for an attack… he choses to do it…  no doubt he acts under higher command, but its orders, which are more general, require interpretation… action presupposes that there is a plurality of possibilities.” Sartre, ‘Existentialism and Humanism’ p.35. Of all the stock phrases used by politicians …

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