What makes a great school system? To find out, Andreas Schleicher administers a test to compare student performance around the world.

Why you should listen

First, a few acronyms: Andreas Schleicher heads the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). What it means is: He's designed a test, given to hundreds of thousands of 15-year-olds around the world (the most recent covered almost 70 nations), that offers unprecedented insight into how well national education systems are preparing their students for adult life. As The Atlantic puts it, the PISA test "measured not students’ retention of facts, but their readiness for 'knowledge worker' jobs—their ability to think critically and solve real-world problems."

The results of the PISA test, given every three years, are fed back to governments and schools so they can work on improving their ranking. And the data has inspired Schleicher to become a vocal advocate for the policy changes that, his research suggests, make for great schools.

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What others say

“An outspoken critic of government policies that don’t prioritize education, Schleicher has been influential in translating hard data into real-world guidance for policy-makers.” — Anthony Salcito, Daily Edventures

Andreas Schleicher’s TED talk

Andreas Schleicher on the TED Blog

Quotes from Andreas Schleicher

The test of truth in life is not whether we can remember what we learned in school, but whether we are prepared for change.
Andreas Schleicher
TEDGlobal 2012 • 590K views Feb 2013
Informative, Persuasive
Better degrees don't automatically translate into better skills and better jobs and better lives.
Andreas Schleicher
TEDGlobal 2012 • 590K views Feb 2013
Informative, Persuasive
We no longer live in a world that is neatly divided between rich and well-educated countries, and poor and badly-educated ones.
Andreas Schleicher
TEDGlobal 2012 • 590K views Feb 2013
Informative, Persuasive