The PISA report on international education has once again smacked Germany around, stating that success is contingent on social and ethnic background, with only six percent of those with an immigrant background making it to the top tier schools.

As I understand it, the German system splits kids out into one of three levels when they are ten. By and large this means that the socio-economic class you will occupy as an adult is largely determined before you make it to middle school. Although there seems to be a lot of desire for reform, there doesn't seem to be a lot happening. I've heard people blame the unions, but I don't know the truth of that, though I do know the unions can be a little slow to accept change.

Shelby commented:
Yes, the German system does split you up when you are 10, however unlike in the past, there is some room to move around should you change your mind. You could switch from the vocational track to the college-bound track if you wanted to. German college-bound high school is different than ours because basically you stay in school until you can pass a series of government-standard tests. It takes most people 6 years, but can take longer from some, particularly if you switch from a different track. Nobody's really all that concerned abou it though. What's true is that the German system needs some major overhaul. One thing they could do is extend the school day--German kids basically get out at lunch and don't go back.
on Tue Jan 25 22:26:02 2005

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