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PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

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Improving Performance: Leading from the Bottom

Since the PISA 2000 and 2009 surveys both focused on reading, one can track in detail how student reading performance has changed over that period. Among the 26 OECD countries with comparable results in both assessments, Chile, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Korea, Poland, Portugal, and the partner countries Albania, Brazil, Indonesia, Latvia, Liechtenstein and Peru all show overall improvements in reading performance. The fact that such a diverse group of countries succeeded in raising the level of their students’ performance in reading indicates that improvement is possible regardless of a country’s cultural context or where it starts out from. For example, Korea was already among the best-performing countries in 2000 and it improved further by 2009, Poland moved from below the OECD average to above it, and Chile rose from a relatively low performance rank to one that is much closer to that of other OECD countries...

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