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This article is concerned with the early phase of international large-scale assessments. Drawing on media discussions before and after the release of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) surveys of 1973, the chapter discusses the relationship between international assessments, scandalisation, and de-scandalisation, with a specific focus on the interpretation of the comprehensive school reform in Sweden. The first section of this article deals with the early years of the 1970s, a time in which international data on education played a minimal role in educational discourse, creating space for other ways of discussing the perceived quality of schooling. The second section covers the effects of the IEA surveys released in 1973, whose positive results took Sweden by surprise, leading to what could be called a de-scandalisation. Finally, the implications of the emergence of international testing are analysed in terms of what de-scandalisation meant in this particular historical phase, and what it tells us about the nature of large-scale assessments.