How Poland Became An Eastern European Education Powerhouse

This is from a country that in the early 1990s had one of the lowest participation rates in secondary education — that is, high school level schooling — among OECD countires. When the country took the test in 2000, nearly 70 percent of basic vocational school students tested at the lowest literacy level. The country’s transformation has been much-admired in education policy circles. This year, Poland was treated as an education superpower alongside the likes of South Korea and the vaunted Finns in journalist Amanda Ripley’s book The Smartest Kids in the World.  As Britain’s Daily Telegraph put it: The former eastern-bloc country’s schools may “make a poor impression on the outside. But the ageing and slightly shabby appearance of the buildings belie…one of the world’s best performing education systems.”

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