|Due to the entry into an era of a knowledge-based society education has become one of the most important resources for individual success and social progress. Since the year of 2000 the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has been testing the knowledge of young adults through its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The purpose of this assessment is to measure the quality of education systems by comparing them to those of other countries. As a result of this Programme the OECD received international attention for its activities in the field of education policy. Consequently, it expanded its role in this regard. However, it has to be noted that national responses to the results of PISA varied significantly in the participating countries.
This article focuses on those countries that received the highest domestic media attention to the results of PISA: Germany, Austria, Spain and Mexico. It particularly explores the role of the international level in reforming national education systems. Based on empirical analysis I will argue that national debates about education reforms become more alike through the diffusion of best practices by the OECD. Despite the differences of national contexts and educational traditions convergence to the international reform model increases at discursive level.
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