PISA is a unique international resource, so it is not surprising that many countries want to participate in the assessment, something encouraged by OECD’s secretariat. But the logistical challenge of the undertaking is already formidable. In 2018, PISA assessed nearly 1 million 15-year-olds across the globe, accommodating 131 languages in communities ranging from rural impoverished to urban affluent. Adding 40 more countries will amplify these challenges.
Although such growth may seem like it would strengthen PISA, it does just the opposite, by increasing the burden on the overall program, undermining the meaningfulness of comparative statistics based on the assessment, and limiting the potential of innovative digital assessment content.