What We’re Watching: Shanghai and PISA
In this video, produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Pearson Foundation, Shanghai education officials talk about what they did to get to the top of the PISA rankings.
It is possible to do credible social scientific analyses of international test scores if you do something like a regression that systematically examines variation in performance within and across countries controlling for other variables. See for example work by Ludger Woessmann. But just eyeballing the top performers and making up stories about why they succeeded based on picking and choosing characteristics about them is pure quackery.