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OECD Reviews of School Resources: Austria 2016

image of OECD Reviews of School Resources: Austria 2016

The effective use of school resources is a policy priority across OECD countries. The OECD Reviews of School Resources explore how resources can be governed, distributed, utilised and managed to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of school education.

The series considers four types of resources: financial resources, such as public funding of individual schools; human resources, such as teachers, school leaders and education administrators; physical resources, such as location, buildings and equipment; and other resources, such as learning time.

This series offers timely policy advice to both governments and the education community. It includes both country reports and thematic studies.

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Assessment and recommendations

In 2011, Austrian primary school students in Year 4 took part in the IEA’s TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study). Austria’s results in mathematics and reading in these assessments were considered unsatisfactory compared to 14 participating countries with similar socio-economic characteristics. In both subjects, Austria scored above the international average, but took the last place in its reference group for reading and the third-last for mathematics. In both subjects, the share of Austrian students meeting the Advanced and High International Benchmarks was smaller than the international median. Reading literacy scores have experienced a decline since 2006 and scores for mathematics have decreased since 1995. In science, however, Austria continues to show good results, performing above the international benchmarks across all levels of achievement. In 2012, Austrian 15-year-olds participated in OECD PISA 2012 performing above the OECD average in mathematics (506 vs. 494), at the average in science (506 vs. 501) and below the average in reading (490 vs. 496). In mathematics and reading, Austria fared worse than Germany and Switzerland, but better than or similar to Italy and the Slovak Republic. Since PISA 2003, Austria has slightly narrowed the share of low performing students in all subjects, but at the same time experienced a reduction in its share of top performers. This has resulted in a comparatively small share of students at the bottom, but also at the top of the performance scale in PISA 2012. TIMSS, PIRLS and PISA indicate relatively strong gender gaps in education.

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