August 12, 2020

Madrid records the largest regional hit in the PISA tests | Society

The Community of Madrid, the region that invests less in each school (3,945 euros) in Spain and who segregates the most needy according to the PISA report – isolates the most disadvantaged – has always boasted Good results in the evaluation despite its low cost. But this time the accounts do not come out. Hhas stopped positioning second in the table, losing 29 points in science (equivalent to a school year) and 17 points in math. His Government, of the PP and Citizens, questions the results in these competitions because they believe that they are contaminated by those of reading, that have not been published because the OECD has detected "anomalies" in one of the exercises. The advisor Enrique Ossorio has come to affirm this morning: "The data is absolutely incredible and absurd for the Community of Madrid." Ossorio says there is a "mysterious black box "that does not explain the problems related to tests.

In the press conference to present the report in Madrid, the Japanese Miyako Ikeda, responsible for the analysis of PISA data, has categorically denied the possible contamination. While the Secretary of State for Education, Alejandro Tiana, has encouraged Madrid to consider how it has applied the Wert law, of 2013.

Madrid records the largest regional hit in the PISA tests

Isabel Galvín, of the Federation of Education of Workers' Commissions in Madrid, makes a very readingother than that of Ossorio: "Madrid has been the flagship of education cuts in Spain. What would Madrid, which has the highest GDP per capita in Spain, if the Community spent as the Basque Country (63% more per student)? We would be at the height of Hamburg and the children of the depressed neighborhoods could aspire to be what they wanted. "The Madrid homes are also the ones who are most in charge of educational expenses (books, materials, transport or extracurricular): 1,624 euros per student , 57% more than the national average. Below the average in public investment in education are also Catalonia – despite its wealth -, Castilla-La Mancha, the Valencian Community and Murcia, these last two with a below average score.

Catalonia, also very rich, it advances to Madrid although it decreases 10 points in mathematics and 15 in science. And he doesn't trust the report either. His Government considers that the autonomies that they have been above "they are communities with a level of complexity in their school population far below that of Catalonia" and have stressed that only Madrid, Andalusia, Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands have comparable levels "and all of them have scored below".

The results gap in PISA educational quality assessment It is abysmal among the Spanish autonomous communities. To a schoolboy of Ceuta (415 points) separate 95 points in science from a Galician (510). Or the same student in mathematics (411) is 92 points away with a Navarrese (503). That, in terms of PISA, assumes that the Ceuta student goes an academic course and a half behind that of Galicia or Navarra.

Madrid records the largest regional hit in the PISA tests

Spain had never seen in figures such a huge disparity and that is because in the latest edition of PISA, whose examinations were answered in April and May 2018, the Government – then in the hands of the Popular Party – decided for the first time to expand the sample with the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, which do not have the educational skills transferred. Both cities have a medium income and a low socio-cultural environment and high unemployment rates (29% unemployment compared to 13.9% national). In these cities, half of the students have repeated at least one course and Tiana recognizes that new centers have to be built because the class ratios are very high. The problem, he says, is space.

No country goes as detailed as Spain to make an x-ray of its educational system. 36,000 students pass from 1,089 public, concerted and private centers throughout the State. And this means that each community pays an extra to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for examining more schoolchildren. Madrid, for example, has paid 200,000 euros.

Madrid records the largest regional hit in the PISA tests

Without reaching the inequality of Ceuta with Galicia, The interval between northern and southern regions and the Mediterranean arch has always existed. There are many factors that influence. The PISA report states that 10% of a score is conditioned by socio-cultural status and in that context the south loses. The Canary Islands and Andalusia occupy the worst positions of PISA within Spain (except Ceuta and Melilla) and their income is the fourth and second by the tail, respectively. Extremadura, which is the poorest (18,174 euros), is just one step above them. The three are around 20% unemployment, almost double national.

“The education system moves by inertia and in the south and the Mediterranean arch they have to redistribute the resources to make the school more attractive to students and teachers,” reasons María Castro, professor of the Department of Research and Educational Psychology at the University Complutense “They have to see the power of the school as a social engine. Because job expectations are important for measuring effort. If not, it is difficult to get hooked. ”

Castro does not understand that the Government of Spain "disregards" the interregional gap. “It has to be a priority action of the country to investigate what happens and is not done,” laments the expert in measurement and evaluation of educational systems. The further down is a region in the ranking the margin for improvement is greater and Canary Islands, Extremadura and Andalusia They have risen slightly.

In the 2015 edition of PISA, 26% of the variation in the science score was related to GDP per capita "a percentage lower than that observed by countries but also statistically significant", is explained in the book Regional educational differences: 2000-2006, of the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (IVIE) and BBVA. The gap is not greater because "public spending on education in the autonomous communities depends not only on their fiscal capacity (associated with GDP) but also on the leveling mechanisms of the autonomous financing system."

PISA data shows that from the moment a country allocates more than 50,000 dollars (45,365 euros) to the education of a child between 6 and 15 years, an automatic relationship between spending and improving results can no longer be established. It is not so much how much but how it is invested. And they know that well in the Basque Country who are the ones who allocate more resources to their students (6,502 euros), have a high GDP per capita (34,079 euros) and a low school dropout and, nevertheless, their results are in the middle of the Spanish table. This edition has left something above; The rest has gotten worse.

All autonomous communities manage education, at least since 2001, but the size of their educational systems is very diverse: Andalusia, penultimate in PISA, exceeds 1.8 million students and La Rioja, in the head, barely reaches 59,000 and that facilitates governance. Other uniprovincial communities, and located in northern Spain, are also above average: Asturias, Navarra (the best in mathematics and second most invested in its students) and Cantabria. They are also well placed Castilla-Leon and Aragon, of homogeneous population and that are characterized by making a great effort to keep rural schools open in the process of depopulation of their provinces.

Madrid records the largest regional hit in the PISA tests

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