Steve SongPéter Róbert

Immigrant Student Investigation in PISA 2006

A Call for a More Nuanced Examination


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Reports using past PISA data have suggested that in many of the OECD countries, immigrant students are underperforming in comparison to their non-immigrant peers. With the rapidly increasing number of immigrant students throughout Europe, these disturbing findings have drawn much attention to how well various immigrantreceiving countries are addressing the needs of their immigrant student population. But how accurate are these findings? In this paper, we argue that, when analyzed at the aggregate, surface level, there are three possible pitfalls that may give researchers and policymakers an incomplete or biased picture of how immigrant students in various OECD countries are faring. These shortcomings stem from 1) how immigrant students are selected or categorized, 2) the test language proficiency level of the firstgeneration students, and 3) the way in which the first and second generation immigrant students are grouped. In this paper, these shortcomings are addressed and possible remedies are discussed.

education, immigration, language, PISA

APA citation
Song, S. & Róbert P. (2010). Immigrant Student Investigation in PISA 2006: A Call for a More Nuanced Examination. Journal for Educational Research Online (JERO), 2(1), 32-52.