Center on International Education Benchmarking

International Resources: Comparative Reports

Organizations | Conferences | Research Centers |Comparative Education Associations | Comparative Reports

OECD. (2014). Education at a Glance. This report looks at who participates in education, what is spent on it, how education systems operate and the results achieved.  The latter includes indicators on a wide range of outcomes, from comparisons of students’ performance in key subject areas to the impact of education on earnings and on adults’ chances of employment.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics & Center for Universal Education at Brookings (2014). Toward Universal Learning: Implementing Assessment to Improve Learning.  UNESCO and Brookings convened a Learning Metrics Task Force to examine principals for effective national education assessment systems. Their report highlights three key supports that national education systems need to operationalize and sustain the measurement of learning: technical expertise, institutional capacity, and political will. The report includes questions to help policymakers evaluate the effectiveness of each of these reports in their countries.

United Nations Development Programme (2014). Human Development Report 2014: Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience.  The report includes an index that combines measures of health, education and standard of living in an effort to paint a broader picture of development than economic numbers alone. It covers 187 countries and was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country.

World Economic Forum (2014). The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015.  This report looks at the competitiveness of 144 countries, compiling data on over 100 economic indicators. Two “pillars” of analysis center on health and basic education, and secondary education and training.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (2014). The Learning Curve.  This report, published by Pearson and written by The Economist Intelligence Unit, combines a number of international rankings – including PISA and TIMSS as well as measures of adult skills – to provide the equivalent of a poll of polls. It considers new lessons about how to inculcate skills in students; examines how to maintain or expand skill levels among adults and explores the relevance of developed-world answers to these questions for emerging markets.

OECD (2014). When in Competition Between Schools Beneficial?  According to this edition of PISA in Focus which analyses the results of PISA 2012 against various socio-economic and policy indicators, across countries and economies, student performance is unrelated to whether or not schools have to compete for students. Competition among schools is related to greater socio-economic segregation among students.

OECD (2013). TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning.  This survey asks teachers and school leaders about their working conditions and the learning environments at their schools. It is an opportunity for teachers and school leaders to provide input into educational policy analysis and development in key areas.  This report presents the results of the second cycle of the TALIS survey conducted in 2013.

OECD (2013). Skills for Life?: Key Findings from the Survey for Adult Skills.  This report presents the results of the first administration of the Survey for Adult Skills produced by the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). It assesses the proficiency of adults aged 16 and over in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving in OECD member nations.

OECD (2012). PISA 2012 Results.  This report summarizes the results of the 2012 administration of PISA, which focused on 15-year-olds’ proficiency in mathematics, reading, science, and problem solving. All 34 OECD member countries, along with an additional 31 partner countries, participated in this exam.

IEA (2012). Policy, Practice, and Readiness to Teach Primary and Secondary Mathematics in 17 Countries.  This report presents findings from the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M), administered in 17 countries. It compares the duration, curriculum, degree requirements, size, and governance of mathematics teacher preparation programs, along with data on mathematics proficiency, accountability systems, and teacher retention and satisfaction.

OECD. (2012). Preparing Teachers and Developing School Leaders for the 21st Century: Lessons from Around the World.  This report examines teaching and school leadership models and includes reflections on the 2012 International summit on the teaching profession.

Eurydice. (2012). Key Data on Education in Europe 2012. Eurydice provides indicators on many aspects of European education systems, including funding, teaching staff, participation and organization.

OECD. (April 2012).  Public and Private Schools: How management and funding relate to their socio-economic profile.  This report examines the socio-economic profile of publicly and privately managed schools in PISA participating countries and economies.  It shows that those countries with narrow socio-economic stratification in their education systems not only maximise equity and social cohesion, but also perform well in the PISA survey.

Grattan Institute. (2012).  Catching Up: Learning from the best school systems in East Asia.  Australia’s Grattan Institute examines East Asia’s four top-performing education systems: Hong Kong, Korea, Shanghai and Singapore in light of the fact that these systems are not among the world’s top spenders.  The report also highlights that their success is dictated not only by culture and tradition, but by a commitment to equity and excellence.

OECD (2012). Preparing Teachers and Developing School Leaders for the 21st Century.  This report uses PISA data to show that a substantial proportion of students in OECD countries now attend schools that have high degrees of autonomy in different areas of decision making.  The report highlights selective comparative data from Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Ireland, Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

IEA (2011). TIMSS and PIRLS 2011: Relationships Among Reading, Mathematics, and Science Achievement at the Fourth Grade—Implications for Early Learning.  This report compares the results of the fifth Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the third Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). Because TIMSS is administered every four years, and PIRLS every five, 2011 was the first time that the same cohort of students took both exams. As a result, this report presents correlations between students’ results on both exams.

IEA (2011). PIRLS 2011 International Results in Reading.  The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2011 is the third administration of this international comparison since the 2001 initial administration. PIRLS is used to compare over time the literacy knowledge and skills of fourth-graders. In 2011, 49 countries and educational jurisdictions that participated in PIRLS.

NCES.  (2011). Comparative Indicators of Education in the United States and Other G-8 Countries: 2011.  NCES provides key indicators in five topic areas: population and school enrollment, academic performance, contexts for learning, expenditures for education, educational attainment, and income.  The indicators are determined using results from PISA and INES for Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the UK and the US.

NCES. (2011). Highlights From PISA 2009: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy in an International Context.  This report provides international comparisons of average performance in reading literacy and three reading literacy subscales and in mathematics literacy and science literacy. It includes the percentages of students reaching PISA proficiency levels, for the United States and the OECD countries on average, and trends in U.S. performance over time.

OECD. (2011). Strong Performers, Successful Reformers in Education. This is a collection of powerpoint presentations on the education systems of various countries, presented at a June, 2011 OECD seminar in Japan.

Eurydice. (2011). Teachers’ and School Heads’ Salaries and Allowances in Europe, 2009/10. An overview of educators’ salaries in European countries, with both system-level data and cross-country comparative analysis.

West Ed. (2011). School Turnaround Policies and Practices in Australia, Canada, England and New Zealand: Overview and Implications.  This policy report focuses on lessons learned from four countries (Australia, Canada, England, and New Zealand) that are attempting to significantly improve their lowest-performing schools.

OECD. (December 2010). PISA 2009 Results. Korea and Finland top OECD’s latest PISA survey of education performance.  The next strongest performances were from Hong Kong-China, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.  The municipality of Shanghai also tops the rankings.

McKinsey & Company. (2010). Closing the talent gap: Attracting and retaining top-third graduates to careers in teaching: An international and market-based perspective.  This report reviews the experiences of the top-performing systems in the world (Singapore, Finland, and South Korea) in recruiting, developing, and retaining leading academic talent.

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. (2009). Do Countries Paying Teachers Higher Relative Salaries Have Higher Student Mathematics Achievement?  The report examines how mathematics teachers are paid in 20 countries, and also provides an overview of how teachers are trained and recruited.

NCES. (2007).  Highlights from TIMSS 2007: Mathematics and Science Achievement of U.S. Fourth- and Eighth-Grade Students in an International Context.  The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007 is the fourth administration of this international comparison since the 1995 initial administration. TIMSS is used to compare over time the mathematics and science knowledge and skills of fourth- and eighth-graders. TIMSS is designed to align broadly with mathematics and science curricula in the participating countries.  In 2007, there were 58 countries and educational jurisdictions that participated in TIMSS, at the fourth- or eighth-grade level, or both.

Consortium for Policy Research in Education.  (2007).  A Comparative Study of Teacher Preparation and Qualifications in Six Nations.  This report provides an in-depth analysis of teacher training and teacher demographics in six Asian economies.

NCES. (2007). The Reading Literacy of U.S. Fourth-Grade Students in an International Context: Results from the 2001 and 2006 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).  In 2006, 45 jurisdictions participated in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), including 38 countries, 5 Canadian provinces, and the separate Flemish- and French-speaking education systems in Belgium.

Educational Testing Service. (2003).  Preparing Teachers Around the World.  In this report, ETS researchers take a systematic look at the kinds of policies and control mechanisms that high-performing countries use to shape the quality of the teaching force.  They surveyed the teaching policies of seven countries (Australia, England, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands and Singapore) whose students performed as well or better than students from the United States in mathematics and science.

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