Great expectations: Girls in school today

8 March is the centenary of International Women’s Day. This year, we mark the occasion with a series of blog posts about initiatives to strengthen gender equality worldwide. In this post, Andreas Schleicher of the OECD’s Education Directorate looks at performance in school and later. 

For most of the 20th century, educators and policy makers despaired over girls’ underachievement in school and sought ways to overcome the social and cultural impediments to girls’ equal access to education.

Results from the OECD’s most recent PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey, which directly involved more than half a million 15-year-olds (as proxy for some 28 million students) in 74 countries and economies (representing 90% of the world economy), show how many of those impediments have been toppled. (more…)