Monday, June 14, 2010

The PISA Shock Engenders Change in Baden-Wurttemberg

Friday, June 11, 2010
Jörn Steinmeyer of the State Institute for School Development and Education in Stuttgart discussed Quality Development and Standardization in the School Systems. This movement came about in response to Germany’s poor showing in the PISA tests that were administered world wide in 2004. Germany’s place below most other EU countries (and many developing countries) have led to an attempt to recalibrate standards to better measure and promote student achievement. What has come out of this has been a three level system:

1. Level I: The printed standards for Bildung (a loaded term).
2. Level II: Performance Indicators (Niveaukonkretierung)
3. Level III: Implementation Aid which includes core curriculum, didactic materials and performance indicators.

Herr Steinmeyer noted some of the obstacles to implementing these reforms, not the least of which was the fact that the standards were only available on the internet and 80 percent of the teachers in BW use the internet only infrequently. Moreover, because teachers have civil service status as well as a very strong union, there is almost no accountability of their performance after they have been through their first two years.

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