New study: PISA success stories in Europe

A new study analyses PISA results of different educational systems to find out, how some member states of the EU have been able to improve their performance over time while student performance in the world is generally deteriorating.

Education plays an important part in determining social participation, well-being and employability; it is associated with higher levels of productivity and social cohesion. However, one in five 15-year-olds in the EU fail to complete basic mathematics, science and reading tasks, according to the PISA. Furthermore, students’ performance has gradually deteriorated over the period from 2009 to 2018. The cost of underperformance in education is rising.

In such a context, it is important to understand which education reforms and interventions ‘work’ and thus lead to actual improvements in the quality and equity of education and the subsequent academic success of all students. The study aims to explore which countries have been able to improve their students’ performance – looking at the PISA indicators measuring student achievement and equity – over time. It explores which factors can be associated with the positive trends observed, as well as which policy reforms may have contributed to these improvements.

On behalf of Estonia, PISA expert Gunda Tire from the Education and Youth Board contributed to the book. The Estonian chapter takes a closer look at, for example, the assessment system, the development of the national curriculum and focussing on equity and inclusion in education.

Read the publication here: European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Successful PISA stories in the EU: how some Member states have been able to improve their performance over time: final report, Publications Office, 2022.

Estonia ranked 1st in Europe in PISA 2018 results

In PISA 2018, Estonian students ranked first among European countries in all three domains of assessment. Estonia ranked fifth in reading, fourth in science and eighth in mathematics among all participating countries and economies.


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