Diploma of excellence

OECD Observer

The head of OECD’s education indicators, Andreas Schleicher, took what looked like a poor report card for Germany’s educational system and ended up receiving an award for himself, from none other than the Germans. In April he received for this achievement the prestigious Theodor Heuss award, named after the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Mr Schleicher co-ordinates the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a three-year survey of the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds. It assesses student performance in reading and mathematical and scientific literary, and analyses the factors that promote success in education, best preparing young people for full participation in society. Of the 32 countries surveyed in 2000, Germany had one of the largest gaps between the highest and lowest-performing students, and showed below the OECD average. PISA has been hotly debated in Germany since the results came out last year, not least in the media.

But, as Mr Schleicher pointed out: “The aim of the study is not to compare whether countries are performing better or worse than others, but rather to indicate where educational systems can be improved, how to move forward; and Germany has taken this seriously.”

The award is for “exemplary democratic behaviour”, and was presented to Mr Schleicher for his role in re-orienting a partisan and ideological debate about the German PISA results towards a strategic discussion of education policy.

Other recipients of the award include statesman Vaclav Havel, social philosopher Juergen Habermass, author Günter Grass and Peter Eiger, chairman of Transparency International.

©OECD Observer No 237, May 2003




Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa. blogs.worldbank.org
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017