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The Experience of Middle-Income Countries Participating in PISA 2000-2015

image of The Experience of Middle-Income Countries Participating in PISA 2000-2015

This report provides a systematic review and empirical evidence related to the experiences of middle-income countries and economies participating in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2000 to 2015. PISA is a triennial survey that aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. To date, students representing more than 70 countries and economies have participated in the assessment, including 44 middle-income countries, many of which are developing countries receiving foreign aid. This report provides answers to six important questions about these middle-income countries and their experiences of participating in PISA: What is the extent of developing country participation in PISA and other international learning assessments? Why do these countries join PISA? What are the financial, technical, and cultural challenges for their participation in PISA? What impact has participation had on their national assessment capacity? How have PISA results influenced their national policy discussions? And what does PISA data tell us about education in these countries and the policies and practices that influence student performance?

The findings of this report are being used by the OECD to support its efforts to make PISA more relevant to a wider range of countries, and by the World Bank as part of its on-going dialogue with its client countries regarding participation in international large-scale assessments.

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How have PISA results informed education policy discussions and affected policy in middle-income countries?

This chapter explores the extent to which the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has informed education policy in middle-income countries. The first section of the chapter provides a brief review of the education policy process, drawing attention to the important role of discussion and debate in goal-setting and policy formulation. The second section presents new empirical evidence regarding education policy discussions in middle-income countries participating in PISA, drawing from the analysis of media in middle-income case study countries. The third section reviews the evidence of education policy reforms in these countries and their linkages with PISA, drawing on reviews of donor support for assessment, the use of PISA in general policy dialogue, and the use of PISA in identifying specific policy issues related to the quality and equity of education systems. The fourth section examines the evidence related to PISA’s impact on policy agendas and country-level reforms. A final section presents conclusions and implications.

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