Sweden Accused of Removing Migrant Pupil Results to Boost School Test Scores

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The Swedish government has been accused of removing test scores of foreign-born pupils and those with poor Swedish language skills to artificially boost the country’s PISA educational score.

The revelations claim that Sweden did not follow the rules of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which runs the PISA educational programme and that if they had, the country’s results would have been much lower than reported.

Education Minister Anna Ekström had initially called the 2019 PISA results “a day of joy”, but Swedish newspaper Expressen has claimed that as many as 11 per cent of pupils were excluded from writing PISA exams including large numbers of foreign-born pupils.

PISA regulations state that pupils who have been taught the native language of a country for at least a year should be participating in writing the exam, which is generally taken between the ages of 15 and 16.

The newspaper spoke to principal Ulrika Mattsson who acknowledged her school had broked the PISA rules. She said: “It is the pupils who have come to us who have had little or no schooling before.”

Mattsson added: “We have not drawn the limit at 12 or 14 months, but made decisions [to exclude] on a case-by-case basis. When there have been doubts, we consider what is in the pupil’s best interests. How will it be for the pupil to write the exam?”

Professor Magnus Henrekson at the Institute for Business Research stated that the accusations were “extremely serious” and noted: “The PISA results have in practice been used as a measure both of how the Swedish school stands in comparison with other countries and how it develops over time.”

Expressen has claimed that if the PISA regulations had been followed, Sweden would have scored between five and 13 points lower than the official results.

Professor Henrekson was even more critical, saying: “My assessment is that even a decline of 13 points may be too low since this is based on the assumption that those excluded would have done reasonably well on average.”

The Swedish National Agency for Education refuted Expressen‘s claims, saying that their own statistics showed no violations. But the paper has claimed the agency based their statistics on incorrect data.

The agency is accused of basing the ‘one year of study’ condition on residency permits, despite asylum seekers being in the country up to two years prior to gaining such a document and their children being in school for that period.

The allegations come after reports of extremely poor performances in schools located in vulnerable no-go suburbs that are heavily populated by migrant background individuals.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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