Compare Globally, Interpret Locally: International Assessments and News Media in Israel

Pizmony-Levy, Oren

Scholars have documented the global spread of international large-scale assessments of student achievement (ILSAs), such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Research to date has focused on the influence of national and world characteristics on the likelihood of a country to participate in these assessments. This article investigates the role of local public discourse on the institutionalization of ILSAs “on the ground.” To do so, I use a sample of articles (n=97) from two newspapers in Israel. The analyses reveal three key patterns. First, public discourse about ILSAs developed gradually, and not immediately after the release of the first few reports. Second, policy makers are more active in the public discourse about ILSAs than other actors (e.g., students, teachers, parents, and education scholars). Third, public discourse about ILSAs constructed an achievement crisis that calls for change in policy/practice. These patterns facilitated the institutionalization of ILSAs in the Israeli context, beyond the contribution of transitional organizations.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
International and Comparative Education
Published Here
May 3, 2016