The Trump administration has opted out of testing whether school kids can recognise fake news

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Donald TrumpAP Photo/Evan VucciUS President Donald Trump, who has spoken out against "fake news" and whose country will not be administering the OECD's new test.

  • 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, Germany, and France have opted out as well.
  • 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 in a report by the BBC, alongside England (though not other parts of the UK), Germany and France.

Australia, Canada, Scotland and 25 other countries will take the test, according to the Times Education Supplement.

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 propaganda.

andreas schleicher oecdCharles Platiau/ReutersOECD head of education Andreas Schleicher.

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 metrics.

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

Business Insider has contacted the US Department of Education to find out why it didn't take up the test, but has yet to receive a response.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education in England told Business Insider: "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 assessment."

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.

Take a look at some sample questions on the global competence test, which were published in an OECD slideshow last month:

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

Q3. On interest in news and respect for global cultures:

oecd global competence test respectOECD

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