After the October 8, 2013 release of PIAAC results we put together a web page of analyses of reactions to the results in Canada and other countries. In response, some experts in the field sent us their own reactions to PIAAC and to the responses from media and policymakers.  As we note in the introduction:

The OECD also did an early analysis of media reactions to PIAAC in different countries. You can read it at McGill University professor Ralf St. Clair offers his own analysis on his Literacy and Learning Blog, while noted New Literacy Studies theoretician Brian Street has sent us his comments on PIAAC to the e-consultation on the upcoming United Nations Development Program Gender Equality Strategy [pdf document], focusing on the gender differences found in the PIAAC results as well as the need to make lifelong learning opportunities available to all.


Gail Spangenberg, President of the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL) in the United States, has written a couple of blog posts about the PIAAC results. In the most recent, What’s The Story?, she argues that it is important to help low-skilled adults and that an exclusive focus on “fixing” the K-12 education system won’t do that:

Discussions about our low-skilled adults and what we can do to help lift them up tend to revert mistakenly to what we can do to improve K-12.  I stress this point because historically and in most current media coverage, we fail over and over again to grasp the importance of differentiating adult education from K-12 or colleges.  We need to coalesce around the real and very urgent need to upgrade the basic foundational skills of our adults: our current and future workforce, the parents of our children, and to put it altruistically, the keepers of our freedom.”