Where All Students Can Succeed
3rd December 2019
PISA 2018 Results (Volume II)
The principle that every person has a fair chance to improve his or her life, whatever his or her personal circumstances, lies at the heart of democratic political and economic institutions. Ensuring that all students have access to the best education opportunities is also a way of using resources effectively, and of improving education and social outcomes in general.
Equity in education is a central and long-standing focus of PISA and a major concern of countries around the world. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 advocate for “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all” (United Nations, 2015).
Equity does not mean that all students have equal outcomes; rather it means that whatever variations there may be in education outcomes, they are not related to students’ background, including socio-economic status, gender or immigrant background.
PISA measures equity by whether education outcomes, such as access to schooling, student performance, students’ attitudes and beliefs, and students’ expectations for their future, are related to student’s personal background. The weaker the relationship, the more equitable the school system, as all students can flourish in such a system, regardless of their background.