Since 2000 when the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched a global academic benchmark for measuring student outcomes by testing 15-year-olds, many global education systems have been impacted by what sometimes looks and feels like a race to rank high.

When the OECD launched the Programme for International Student Assessment — PISA — the idea was to enable countries to make cross-national comparisons of student achievement using a common/standard metric to increase human capital. In other words, higher academic achievement should corelate with earnings in the future and a country’s standard of living. As PISA states, it publishes the results of the test a year after the students are tested to help governments shape their education policies.

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