Dennis Niemann

PISA in Germany: Effects on Policy Making and Organization


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The emergence of PISA constitutes a decisive watershed in German education policymaking. After decades of reform stalemate the international comparative education assessment of the Organization for Co-operation and Development (OECD) opened a window of opportunity for encompassing education reforms in Germany, since the OECD was able to create public attention and political pressure. In response to PISA an extensive debate about the education system was sparked in Germany and several reforms were expedited. The OECD was able to influence the German reform process by delegitimizing certain practices and institutions. At the same time, the OECD highlighted best practices from other countries. These examples were used by national policy actors to demand changes in the education system.

PISA, Germany, OECD, Soft Governance, education reforms