Reactions to the Results

For many countries, the first PISA results were a rude awakening; in Germany, for example, the comparatively low scores brought on heated debate about how the school system should be changed. Other countries had an agreeable surprise. Some headlines in national newspapers, for example, were:

"La France, élève moyen de la classe OCDE" (France, average student of the OECD class) Le Monde, December 5, 2001

"Miserable Noten für deutsche Schüler" (Abysmal marks for German students) Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, December 4, 2001

"U.S. Students Fare Badly in International Survey of Math Skills" New York Times December 7, 2004

"Are we not such dunces after all?" The Times, England, December 6, 2001