Reviews of National Policies for Education

1990-0198 (online)
1563-4914 (print)
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Reviews of National Policies for Education offer customised, in-depth analysis and advice to assist policy makers in developing and implementing education policy. Individual reviews can focus on a specific policy area, a particular level of education or a country’s entire education system. These reviews are conducted at the request of the country concerned.

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Reviews of National Policies for Education: Denmark 2004

Reviews of National Policies for Education: Denmark 2004

Lessons from PISA 2000 You do not have access to this content

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03 Nov 2004
9789264017948 (PDF) ;9789264017924(print)

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The results of PISA 2000, OECD's groundbreaking comparison of the educational outcomes of 15-year-olds, shook the belief of Danes that theirs was the best education system in the world.  In this report, a team of examiners determines why Denmark did worse than expected and recommends a series of steps to better evaluate performance, to overcome the effects of family backgrounds on student outcomes, to better equip school leaders and teachers, and to enhance the flexibility of the agreement governing tasks and hours of school staff.
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  • Executive Summary and Recommendations
    Denmark has one of the most expensive education systems in the world, and for years perceived it to be one of the best in the world. However the disappointing results of recent international tests to measure schooling outcomes confirmed earlier evidence that the system was underperforming...
  • Background Report: An Overview
    Denmark is a comparatively small country with a diversified, highly competitive economy, and a strong welfare state. There is a strong egalitarian tradition. Universal compulsory schooling was introduced in the early 1800s; there is a long history of popular education.
  • Background Report: The Education System
    Local government is responsible for establishing and managing elementary and lower secondary education, with State financial support. Over the years there have been reforms to consolidate smaller municipalities; shift responsibilities between the State, municipalities, parents, and school leaders...
  • Background Report: Making the Policies on Quality and Equity Work
    Responsibility has been devolved to municipal and school levels. However because of concern with outcomes, the State has played a progressively stronger role recently in establishing outcome targets; it has also encouraged (but not mandated) more self-evaluation by schools. Pre- and in-service training of...
  • Background Report: Conclusions
    Presently there is a dearth of information on how students and schools perform; ultimately this hinders the process of reform and school improvement. Remedies depend on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the system...
  • Examiners' Report: Background to the Review: Context and Concerns
    The Danish Government agreed that the OECD undertake a review of its primary and lower secondary education system in view of evidence that the system was under-performing. Though the system is comparatively expensive, results from PISA and earlier international surveys suggest that outcomes are at or below the...
  • Examiners' Report: Strengths of the Lower Secondary System
    The Examiners found that the Danish education system has many strong features, and performs well in many respects. Strengths of the lower secondary system include a strong commitment to education, solid investment, local control, parental choice, an active role for parents, dedicated staff, strong support for...
  • Examiners' Report: Weaknesses of the Lower Secondary System
    The Examiners were concerned about weaknesses in the quality and equity of education outcomes. These weaknesses include a broad pattern of underachievement, a lack of evaluation of student and school performance, a reluctance to challenge students, weaknesses in pre- and in-service training for...
  • Examiners' Report: Strategy for Improvement
    The reviewers proposed 35 specific recommendations in several areas for improvement: learning standards; evaluation of student performance and school effectiveness; school leaders; pre- and inservice training for teachers; the collective agreement...
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