Our school system must enable more children and young people to earn higher education qualifications. This includes a higher level of performance as well as more social skills. In schools, the strengths and individual abilities and background of each child must be given focus. It is essential that individual strengths are supported and individual disadvantages are overcome.
National and international school benchmarking studies have revealed several central deficits in the German education system. Although many measures have been taken in the recent years, particularly in regards to supporting socially disadvantaged children, there is still a considerable need for action. This must be the starting point for further reforms in order to enable equal opportunity throughout the entire educational path and beyond.
In international school benchmarking studies PRILS/IGLU and PISA, German pupils have improved over the recent years. The PIRLS/IGLU Study 2006 gives German primary education a good report card: between 2001 and 2006, reading has improved, with higher numbers of strong readers. However, there is still a strong correlation between social background and success in school.
For the first time, PISA 2009 placed German pupils in the top third of OECD countries in the areas of mathematics and natural sciences. For reading competence, Germany was in the OECD midrange. Both stronger and weaker pupils showed positive development since PISA 2000. Young people with migration backgrounds scored significantly better in reading compared to PISA 2000. The correlation between reading skills and social background has also decreased since PISA 2000. In comparison to other countries, however, this correlation is still high.
The results of the PIRLS/IGLU Study 2006 and the PISA Study 2009 support the importance of the fields of actions negotiated by the Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) in 2001. The Federal Government and the Länder will continue to work diligently.
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Expertise (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/pubRD/bildungshaus_kurz.pdf)
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