The “Program for International Student Assessment”, aka PISA, is the comprehensive international school performance study that was previously conducted. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) examined the performance abilities of school systems in a long-term project incorporating 3 phases in 41 countries. About 250,000 boys and girls aged 15 were tested, including 5,000 in Germany.
The PISA examination is divided into three parts with a changing emphasis. In the first phase in 2000 reading ability was at the forefront; the second phase in 2003, with the results published on December 7th, 2004, emphasised mathematical skills. Abilities in the natural sciences will follow in 2006. The aim of PISA is not just to test pure factual knowledge, but to determine how capable the youths are to apply their knowledge and skills to every day life.
The previous results gave the German educational system bad notes. Germany’s results in all areas are under the OECD average. There is an especially large deficit in early childhood development and individual pupil support.
Additional information on the PISA study can be found here: