In search of quality and equity: The United Kingdom and Germany in the struggle for PISA scores

Autor(es): Muench, Richard; Wieczorek, Oliver

Date: 2022

Serie: International Journal of Educational Research Open

Series Volume: 3


School reforms aiming at improving educational performance (quality), closing achievement gaps and reducing the impact of family background on performance (equity) have been on the agenda worldwide for three decades. These reforms converge in a common core which puts emphasis on school autonomy, free school choice, competition between schools, managerial school leadership, high teacher quality and test-based accountability of schools. The authors investigate how far these reforms have been associated with improvements in quality and equity in two countries following their own developmental path: the United Kingdom and Germany. Despite all insights provided by the existing literature, it is still not sufficiently known how far the application of governance tools following the global reform agenda does make a difference between schools. For closing this research gap, multi-level linear regression analyses are conducted to test the association of governance tools of the reform agenda with individual student performance and achievement gaps based on family background. The authors make use of data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and look at the test years 2000, 2009 and 2015 to see how far there has been improvement over time along with advancing reforms. The results show that the reforms have failed so far.

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