Swedish education: Fixing Sweden’s schools

A NEW study from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) will land on the desks of policymakers around the world next month. It will make sobering reading for political leaders in many countries. In Sweden Jan Bjorklund, the education minister, is prepared for poor marks too.The triennial study by the OECD, a think-tank, measures the reading, maths and science proficiency of 15-year-olds. In the first study, in 2000, Swedish pupils performed a lot better than those in most other countries. But even as the country’s schools inspired imitators elsewhere, their results have deteriorated. In 2009 Sweden’s overall score fell below the OECD average. Other rankings show a similar trend.“I assume the results will continue falling. It will take several more years before the positive effects of our policy begin to show in global ratings,” says Mr Bjorklund, referring to an overhaul of Sweden’s education system. Since coming to power in 2006, the centre-right coalition government has introduced reforms such as a new national curriculum. Mr Bjorklund, who heads the Liberal party, is convinced he can reverse the decline. But will voters have the patience to wait? With universities complaining that students arrive unprepared and companies worrying that Sweden will lose out to other countries, a sense of urgency is in the air. Education will be important in next year’s…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/europe/21588959-swedish-pupils-have-fallen-behind-their-international-peers-fixing-swedens-schools?fsrc=rss|eur

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