Join the “Crowd Sourced” Research of Media coverage of the OECD International Survey of Adult Skills

The results of the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) will be released on October 8th in all the countries that took part in the survey.
There is likely to be a large amount of media attention to these findings and it would be interesting to collect examples of media coverage that could be compared across countries. These examples might include local as well as national media reports in newspapers, broadcast and social media. They could be news or opinion items, such as editorials.
You are invited to post any examples of media coverage you come across to this blog. Simply go to and  add a comment in reply to this post. If you know of other people who might like to join in, please circulate this message to them.
The questions are: How are the PIAAC results being reported and where? For example, which results are focused on: literacy, numeracy and/or problem solving – and which differences in results are highlighted: gender, age, regional, etc.?
  • What kinds of issues are being raised in the media in response to the results?
 Details of the media coverage to share:
As well as your own comments on these questions, please give:
  • the source, date and time and geographical location for each media item you post
  • links to newspaper articles or broadcast programmes
The postings from different countries will be collated at the end of the calendar year 2013 by the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre and an analysis will be carried out by a team led by Mary Hamilton (Lancaster University), Keiko Yasukawa (University of Technology, Sydney) and Jeff Evans (Middlesex University). This analysis will be posted onto the LRC blog site and details circulated to all participating centres, blogs and lists.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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About maryh

Mary Hamilton is Professor of Adult Learning and Literacy in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University. She is Associate Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre Co-director of the Centre for Technology Enhanced learning and a founder member of the Research and Practice in Adult Literacy group.

38 thoughts on “Join the “Crowd Sourced” Research of Media coverage of the OECD International Survey of Adult Skills

  1. more today (10.10) from the National Literacy Advocacy List sponsored by AAACE

    The Atlantic picked up their story from the news site Quartz, “an Atlantic sister site.” It appears that at some point they changed the headline from “Americans Are Dumber Than Average in Math, Vocabulary, and Technology” to “Americans Are Way Behind in Math, Vocabulary, and Technology.” The Quartz version included an insightful graphic of a boy sitting in the corner with a dunce cap.


    Thankfully this approach has not been typical.

    The PIAAC gateway ( has done a good job tracking the news coverage from the major media outlets in the U.S. and around the world.


    On Oct 9, 2013, at 10:46 AM, “Isserlis, Janet” wrote:

    A new global report (pdf) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that Americans rank well below the worldwide average in just about every measure of skill. In math, reading, and technology-driven problem-solving, the United States performed worse than nearly every other country in the group of developed nations.
    AAACE-NLA mailing list:
    LiteracyTent: web hosting, news, community and goodies for literacy

    and, from the same list, also today:
    Dear AAACE-NLA Members,

    As you may know, the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) international report has been released. This is a very unique–but limited–opportunity to raise awareness of adult literacy while national attention is focused on PIAAC.

    To capitalize on the buzz–at a minimum,–I encourage us to cross-link to each other’s articles and awareness-raising efforts. That way, we drive web traffic to each other, raising visibility of our common cause and expanding our reach significantly.

    Please cross-link to NCL’s PIAAC Campaign Home Page: .
    This is a messaging campaign that provides resources, campaign information, and new fact sheets on adult literacy. Resources are rolling out now through January 31.

    Send me links to your articles or other awareness-raising efforts and NCL will cross link to them here: . Feel free to post your links to the AAACE-NLA List and I’ll grab them from there.

    We are continually updating our campaign pages with resources and opportunities. Most recent is our new press release template and talking points linked at the pages above, as well as a new contest awarding two individuals two tickets each to anywhere Southwest flies. (Need a vacation?!)

    It’s a hefty boulder to push, but it is up to all of us to do our fair share in raising national awareness of adult literacy. Thank you in advance for your part in it! I look forward to hearing from you soon.



    Jackie A. Taylor

  2. Of the many Japanese media reports, here is an editorial from the Yomiuri Shinbum (one of the major papers) published in English in Japan News:
    EDITORIAL / Japanese adults rank No. 1 in literacy, but poor in IT skills
    11 October 2013
    The Japan News

    Like many of the other Japanese reports, this editorial celebrates Japan ‘coming #1’ in literacy and numeracy, and attributes this to the compulsory education system built post WW2.

    This report starts to make some comparisons based on educational attainments and literacy scores on the PIAAC:
    ‘In literacy, in particular, Japanese who completed only middle school scored higher than
    high school graduates in the United States or Germany, performing well irrespective of their academic record.’

    Japan didn’t come #1 in the ‘problem-solving’ part, and this report, like others, point to this. It notes that the rate of not answering questions in this area was higher in Japan than in some of the other countries.

  3. There are already a few links to some of the major dailies above, but I have pasted some more below.

    Quite a few journalists have headlined with ‘dunce’s cap’ and ‘bad student’ while others, generally at the more left-wing newspapers have highlighted the link between social inequalities, employment and literacy. I’ve translated the headlines, but only rapidly.

    20 minutes (widely read free national paper)
    “OECD says we must invest in infant education to win the fight against failing schools”

    rue89 (left-wing daily, a break away from Libération)
    ‘Reading, arithmetics : 1 adult in 5 lags behind in France compared to 1 in 20 in Japan’

    RTL (radio station’s website)
    ‘Reading and arithmetics: The French are poor students according to the OECD’

    Le Nouvel Observateur (left-wing weekly)
    ‘Reading and writing: French adults aren’t so bright’

    Le Monde Blog: éducation déchiffré
    OECD inquiry into adult skills: decoding France’s results

    Le Monde Blog: il y a une vie après le bac
    ‘Reading: young people are better (or at least not as bad) as their elders’

    Nice Matin (regional daily)
    ‘Maths, reading: the French are among the worst scoring countries in the OECD’

    Ouest-France (régional daily)
    Skills at school: The French are the dunces of the OCDE–50218-abd_filDMA.Htm

    La Voix du Nord (régional daily)
    ‘Reading and Maths: the French are such dunces!’

    La Croix (national, catholic daily)
    ‘Do the French struggle more than others in maths and reading? Glenda Quintini, economist at the OECD’

    and papers where nothing appeared:

    Humanité (communist national daily)
    Le Parisien (régional daily)

  4. Thanks to contributors for all these many sources. Some countries are better represented in the coverage we have collected than others. If you know of any reports in the Czech or Slovak republics,Norway or Poland please let us know – we can translate. Likewise, any visuals accompanying reports, such as photographs or cartoons are particularly welcome.

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