Educator to educator – the most meaningful difference we can make to change teaching and learning outcomes [Q&A]

Janison|February 20, 2021

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has partnered with Janison to roll out PISA for Schools across the globe – why, why us and why now? These questions are answered by Janison’s new Group Executive – OECD PISA for Schools, Sara Ratner.

Q: Why is Janison involved in PISA for Schools and why now?

A: I have worked in education for more than 20 years – as a teacher, school executive, lecturer, researcher in schools and universities, and as an edtech consultant. I have taught at all levels, from early years to tertiary, specialising in gifted education, and am really passionate about high performance assessment and pedagogical best practice. It seems like everything has been leading to this point – working with Janison and the OECD which is perhaps the world’s greatest authority on education.

Q: What has the collaboration been like so far?

A: Since joining I have been given a seat at the table to lead our partnership with the OECD from an educator’s perspective. I love that I get to work with the most amazing people from Paris to Brazil, Thailand to Russia, in order to deliver an authentic, low stakes/high value assessment that improves education outcomes for all learners.

Q: PISA for Schools – why is it the best-in-class?

A: The international linking study was recently published which makes it the only assessment in the world able to provide confidential school data that is equated to the global PISA assessment scale. I think when you combine the exceptional rigour and knowledge of the OECD with Janison’s purpose driven approach to delivering high-quality educational assessments, you have a winning combination that is authentic, accessible and engaging for students.


Empower your school to drive excellence for all students.

The OECD PISA for Schools test is the only assessment of its kind that brings together hearts and minds. The data driven and actionable insights help schools across the globe measure their academic performance and learning environment. Learn more.

Q: As an educator, what is it about PISA for Schools that most appeals to you?

A: I love that PISA for Schools puts the data that it generates directly into the hands of educators and school leaders so that they can plan for the future growth and development of their schools. It brings together heart and mind, providing information on cohort performance alongside their level of engagement and motivation through strong student voice.

What else do I love about it? This would take ages, but briefly:

  • It’s global and it’s based on the PISA test items developed by the OECD.
  • It has a strong focus on equity – an unidentifiable questionnaire for students identifies socio-economic backgrounds within a school and reports on their performance according to the gap between the most and least disadvantaged.
  • It’s authentic – it’s not about the curriculum, it’s about knowledge and critical thinking skills.
  • It’s accessible – it can be delivered online and offline to meet the needs of schools and countries.

But mostly I think because it supports educators – it provides gold standard data that informs teachers in a timely fashion and can help them drive strategic planning and practice.

Q: Janison won the global contract to roll out PISA for Schools across the world – what success have you had so far?

A: To date we have delivered in the US, Thailand, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Japan, UK, Andorra and Brazil, with many more new countries coming on board. I have seen firsthand the sharing and professional learning that takes place between like-minded schools across the globe. Every day that I go to work I learn something new whether it’s from the Minister for Education in Kazakhstan or in a conference with my colleagues at the OECD. Janison has presented an outstanding opportunity for me, as an Australian educator, to take a seat at the global table and to showcase the best of what our Australian school system has to offer.

Q: What are your plans for PISA for Schools in Australia?

A: Australia is on the list for sure – and it’s going to be a game changer for teachers and students. I can’t wait to roll this out in our home country.

Find out how PISA for Schools can help your school improve outcomes for all students. Contact us today.

About the author


Unlocking the potential in every learner

View more Q&As