Trump administration opts out of OECD fake news test


Donald Trump
President Donald Trump, who has spoken out against “fake news”
and whose country will not be administering the OECD’s new

AP Photo/Evan

  • The United States has opted out of a global assessment
    to see whether students can identify fake news.
  • It is a new part of the OECD’s “global competence test”
    for 15-year-olds.
  • It also measures respect for other cultures and ability
    to resist extremism.
  • Canada, Australia, Scotland, and 25 other countries are
    taking it.
  • England, Belgium, and Japan have opted out as
  • Sample questions are published below.

The Trump administration has opted out of a global, standardised
test which would assess whether school-age children can identify
fake news.

US education authorities decided not to include a “global
competence test” developed by the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD), in standardised tests used
to compare education systems around the world.

The test includes sections on cultural awareness, the ability to
resist extremism, and whether students can identify fake news.

The United States was named as one of the countries refusing,
alongside England, Belgium, and Japan, according to OECD data
seen by Business Insider.

Australia, Canada, Singapore, the Philippines, and 24 other
countries will take the test.

The fake news element tests skills like whether a student can
tell when data is being presented in a misleading way, and
whether students can distinguish between facts, opinions, and

Some other countries, such as Germany and France, opted to
administer a questionnaire on students’ cultural attitudes and
interest in global news, but not the “cognitive test,” which asks
students to spot fake news.

andreas schleicher oecd
head of education Andreas Schleicher.

Charles Platiau/Reuters

The OECD hoped that the test, which launches this year, would be
taken alongside the organisation’s Programme for International
Student Assessment (PISA) test, which is used to
compare education systems.

The US and other countries will continue taking those tests,
which rank maths, science, and reading ability, among other

It’s administered to 15-year-olds in 72
 across the world. Singapore, Canada and
Finland are among the best global performers.

A spokesman for the US Department of Education told Business
Insider it decided not to participate in the test because it had
yet to prove its “technical stability.”

He said: “We consider it to be an important innovation, but we
want to allow it time to develop and crystalize into an
operationalized assessment with a solid empirical foundation to
validate its technical stability.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education in England told
BI: “All schools are already required to teach pupils to have a
mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and
beliefs, so in order to not place additional burden on them, we
will not be taking part in this smaller scale Global Competence

Governments and tech companies have ramped up their fight against
fake news over the past few months.

Facebook recently announced it would
ask users to rank their trust in news outlets
and British Prime Minister Theresa May said she
would set
up a government unit to combat disinformation
from state
actors, like Russia.

Q1. On fake news:

oecd global competence test fake news testOECD

oecd global competence test fake news test 2OECD

Q2. On cultural awareness and sensitivity:

oecd global competence test cultureOECD

oecd global competence test culture 2OECD

Questionnaire on interest in news and respect for global

oecd global competence test respectOECD


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