Every year, the OECD's annual Education at a Glance puts a spotlight on the performance of education systems in OECD countries with a rich collection of comparative data on topics from the qualification levels of school-leavers to the salary levels of teachers.
This chapter examines the outcomes of education and learning, in terms of current output of educational institutions and educational attainment of the adult population: graduation rates in upper secondary and tertiary levels of education; the gender gap in educational attainment, and dropout and survival rates.
It assesses the quality of learning outcomes (the reading, mathematical and scientific literacy of 15-year-old students, the civic knowledge and attitudes of 14-year-olds), and how this varies between schools and students: backgrounds, curricular differences, selection policies, etc.
Other indicators examine equity in educational opportunities and outcomes, the relationship between educational attainment and labour force activity, and the returns to education for individuals and societies.
This chapter considers the financial and human resources invested in education. It provides a comparative examination of spending patterns in OECD countries, and examines direct public and private expenditure on educational institutions in relation to the number of their full-time equivalent (FTE) students. It also reviews how OECD countries apportion per capita education expenditure between different levels of education.
Other indicators examine the proportion of national resources that goes to educational institutions and the levels of education to which they go. They also show how the amount of educational spending relative to the size of national wealth and in absolute terms has evolved over time in OECD countries, and examine changes in public spending on education.
Also considered the ways in which education systems are financed, the sources of the funds, the different financing instruments, and how the money is invested and apportioned among different resource categories.
This chapter looks at access, participation and progression in education, in terms of the expected duration of schooling, and of enrolment rates at different educational levels. It examines the differences in timing and participation rate in pre-school and after the end of compulsory education among OECD countries, as well as the various types of upper secondary programmes (general, pre-vocational or vocational).
Other indicators examine the advantage that a more highly-educated population represents for societies at large, and the increasing need for lifelong acquisition of knowledge and skills, not only in education settings but also through family life, from experience with communities and in business. Evidence from the International Adult Literacy Survey (1994-1998) and national household surveys on adult education and training is included.
Finally, the chapter looks at international student mobility, and at the costs and benefits to students and institutions in sending and host countries alike.
This chapter looks at teaching and learning conditions in education systems. Five indicators analyse school conditions from the learners' point of view: instruction time available for various study areas for students between 9 and 14 years of age; the variation in average class size, and the ratio of students to teaching staff across OECD countries; the availability of ICT in students' homes and schools, and the use of technology in teaching and learning; the attitudes and experiences of young males and females in using information technology; those aspects of classroom climate that appear to favour learning of 15-year-olds.
The chapter concludes with a comparative review of teachers' working conditions in termes of salary - starting, mid-career and maximum statutory salaries of teachers in public primary and secondary education, and incentive schemes and bonuses used in teacher rewards systems - and statutory teaching time, i.e., the time that full-time teachers are expected to spend teaching students.