The OECD programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) evaluates the extent to which students, who are near the end of compulsory education, have acquired the knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society. It assesses student performance in reading, mathematical and scientific literacy, reveals factors that influence the development of these skills at home and at school, and examines the implications for policy development. This report shows considerable variation in levels of knowledge and skills among students, schools and countries. Not all of these differences are due to the social and economic conditions in which students live, and schools or countries operate. It also shows that some countries have managed to mitigate the influence of social background and some have achieved a high overall level of performance. These are noteworthy achievements that may help education specialists in other countries improve their literacy programmes.
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