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The Policy Impact of PISA: An Exploration of the Normative Effects of International Benchmarking in School System Performance


  • Simon Breakspear

    (University of Cambridge)


Little research has been done into how the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) affect national educational reform and policy-making. This paper examines the normative impact of PISA by investigating how, and the extent to which , national policy actors use PISA in policies and practices, to evaluate and improve school-system performance. Drawing on the results of a survey of country practices, the study shows that PISA has become accepted as a reliable instrument for benchmarking student performance worldwide, and that PISA results have had an influence on policy reform in the majority of participating countries/economies. À ce jour, rares sont les recherches ciblant l’impact des résultats de l’enquête PISA (Programme international pour le suivi des acquis des élèves) sur les réformes et l’action publique dans les pays. Le présent document examine l’impact normatif du PISA en cherchant à déterminer comment et dans quelle mesure les acteurs politiques des pays utilisent le PISA dans l’établissement de politiques et pratiques, afin d’évaluer et d’améliorer les performances de leur système d’éducation. À partir des résultats d’une enquête sur les pratiques des pays, cet étude montre que le PISA est aujourd’hui communément accepté en tant qu’instrument fiable pour évaluer la performance des élèves dans le monde entier et que les résultats au PISA exercent une influence réelle sur les réformes politiques dans la majorité des pays et économies participants.

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  • Simon Breakspear, 2012. "The Policy Impact of PISA: An Exploration of the Normative Effects of International Benchmarking in School System Performance," OECD Education Working Papers 71, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:eduaab:71-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chakrabarti Rajashri, 2013. "Impact of Voucher Design on Public School Performance: Evidence from Florida and Milwaukee Voucher Programs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 349-394, July.
    2. repec:mpr:mprres:6364 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chiang, Hanley, 2009. "How accountability pressure on failing schools affects student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1045-1057, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martens, Kerstin & Breiter, Andreas & Idel, Till-Sebastian & Knipping, Christine & Teltemann, Janna, 2013. "Das "PISA Phänomen": Ein Plädoyer für einen interdisziplinären Ansatz zur Erforschung von Bildungsproduktion im Kontext von Large-Scale-Assessments," TranState Working Papers 175, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.

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