Can using PTM support success in PISA?
The two assessments measure similar concepts: mathematical thought processes and relevant mathematical content knowledge. As such, it can be assumed that on average a student who does well in one test, would perform well in the other test. Further, it can be inferred that where progress is made on PTM scores, similar progress would be reflected in PISA. It must again be highlighted that PISA is a measure of education systems, and PTM focuses on groups and individuals.
The PISA testing framework is readjusted for each triennial test run. While there were no significant changes to the Mathematics Framework between the 2012 and 2015 testing, the focus of PISA or the structure of the framework(s) may change from one test run to the next.
PTM provides a stable measure year-on-year for each individual and when a new edition is launched, a comparison to the previous edition is provided.
The advantage of using PTM is that as an assessment targeted for particular age groups, and carefully developed for children of that age, it is possible to identify an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Improvement of any education system must start at the level of supporting each individual to do their best, and PTM helps teachers with this
PTM helps schools to support each individual student by providing accurate information on the mathematics progression of that individual. This, in turn, can be used to support that student in achieving their best in mathematics. When each individual is helped and supported to do their best, the overall mathematical attainment in a school – or country – will improve as well. PISA measures this improvement every three years, but only on 15-year-olds, and between very different systems.
Focus on the individuals and ensure each student is getting the individual interventions and extension work they need to perform their best.
A change in PISA ranking can sometimes mean simply that standards globally are being raised – and the only way to keep up is to focus on the individuals and ensure each student is getting the individual interventions and extension work they need to perform their best.