23 SES 03 A, The Impact of PISA on National Education Policy
PISA has been an instrument of action of the OECD with public impact and influence on education policies in several countries. Despite the quite recent release of the first PISA results, today there is already some evidence of PISA impact and influence in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of public policies of education.
This work aims to be a contribution to the study of the impact and influence of PISA in Portugal and its relation with the education public policies through the analysis of the national press between December 2010 and December 2011.
To assess the impact of PISA in a country, the reaction in the media is a relevant element to analyse. In one hand because the media are now the main bodies that mediate the communication between the various social actors (Melo, 2005). And in other hand, the expression in the media does not necessarily reveal the political importance of a subject and will give us a consistent measure of the reactions of political reform to a particular fact, ie, the media response and policy response are not confused. This analysis will give us at least a measure of public controversy, because we conclude that, if a large number of news in the media about a subject means high relevance in the public opinion of that country. Not surprisingly, the impact of PISA in the media and possible relationships with public policy may be the subject of investigation in order to study these.
In a previous analysis performed to a set of PISA related news from 2000 to 2012, we conclude that the titles of news stories analyzed , unlike as in other European countries (Dixon et al., 2013), does not generally show a predominance of negative effect on education policies, the country, schools, teachers or students but also do not show the contrary. In fact there is an overall balance between the positive and negative sense, but its distribution by cycles shows that the positive direction is only relative to the PISA 2009 cycle, being the predominant negative direction for the remaining three previous PISA editions.
The news about the PISA results associate policy measures (taken or planned), especially in the PISA 2003 and PISA 2009 (which Portugal had quite different results) which leads us to conclude that the enhancement of the perception of negativity or positivity of the results obtained, strongly induces the establishment of relations with education policies. But also other factors related to the political and media agenda as the elections and change of government can influence the perception or visibility of this relationship.
As mentioned, this previous study shows a relation between PISA and the results obtained by the Portuguese students and their place in the national media. It is also possible, through the analyzed pieces, to establish the relationship between PISA and concrete policy measures in which the element PISA appears as legitimating the political decision.
The main objective of this analysis is to deepen the record of the speech of news related to PISA from the confrontation of the results of the content analysis performed in two Portuguese national reference daily newspapers: “Diário de Notícias” and “Público”. The questions we seek to answer with this analysis are: Who are the actors mentioned and quoted in the news? What results are underlined, the huge amount of PISA data? The factors that are associated with the PISA results?
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