The race is on among nations to create knowledge-fuelled innovation economies. Education is seen as the key and the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is flaunted as the barometer of international status. Filmed at the Battle of Ideas, this debate unravels the follies and fallacies of chasing metrics and turnkey solutions from other countries. It’s a displacement activity we learn, avoiding critical and robust interrogation of a home-grown cultural crisis of intellectual values. What exactly is a world-class education anyway?