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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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International large-scale assessments: Origins, growth and why countries participate in PISA

This chapter describes the origins of international large-scale assessments, presents evidence regarding the worldwide growth in such assessments, and analyses the broad determinants of participation in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). It links PISA participation with countries’ economic status and their experience with national and other international large-scale assessments. The empirical analyses presented in the second section of this chapter use selected time-series data for over 200 countries/economies to empirically estimate the determinants of PISA participation. The third section examines country-by-country variations in PISA participation over time. The fourth section draws on interviews with various policy actors to explore the PISA experience of selected low- and middle-income case study countries. A final section draws conclusions about what factors contribute to a country’s decision to participate in PISA and implications for the expansion of PISA participation.

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