Are You Ready For The 2012 PISA Results?: International Baccalaureate® (IB), Best In The World (IMHO)

In December 2013, the results of PISA 2012 will be announced. One thing on everyone’s mind in Chile, and many similar countries, will be: How well are we doing? Are children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds performing as well as students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds? Judging by the results of the Chilean National English Test, only an optimist would expect a positive answer, at least in Chile.

What that means is that policy makers must begin to look at the international experience (International Baccalaureate, for example) of what policies are required in order to provide all students with equal opportunities to succeed in school.

According to the OECD: “All students should have the same opportunities to succeed in school, regardless of their backgrounds. With the right policies, some countries have been able to weaken the link between socio-economic background and performance.”

“In Albania, Chile, Germany and Latvia, the association between socio-economic status and reading performance weakened between 2000 and 2009 while overall performance improved. Equity and performance improved simultaneously in these countries either because students from all backgrounds improved, with largest improvements seen among disadvantaged students (e.g. in Albania and Chile)…”

Find out more about about what PISA results have shown with regard to countries moving towards more equitable education systems, in your language:

English –

Spanish –


In my book, “The International Baccalaureate” I make the contention that the International Baccalaureate is the absolute best education system in the world, not only today, but for the past 40 years. My reasoning is based on three fundamental principles: replication, consistency and quality of educational outcomes.

The IB is the largest international education system in the world, present in almost 150 countries. Despite its geographic distribution, quality is maintained-everywhere. Regardless of where you attend an IB school, the quality is not compromised. It is the same high standards, for everyone, everywhere on the planet.

“An international education must go well beyond the provision of information and is involved in the development of attitudes and values which transcend barriers of race, class, religion, gender or politics.” -International Baccalaureate Organization Subject Guide (1996).

Yet the IB does much more than just prepare students intellectually to succeed in university studies. Its concept of international-mindedness plays a role in promoting peace and prosperity internationally. It unites people, helps us to understand how to collaborate and cooperate, on a local as well as an international level, to make the world we live in a better place for everyone to live in.

I sincerely believe that any education system, that does not unite the nations of the world, in a common endeavour, to make the world a better place for everyone, is a relic of the past century. A common sense of sharing the responsibility, equally, for the welfare of the planet, globally, is needed more than ever today. In fact, we know that the future prosperity and longevity of the very planet itself depends on how well we work together to achieve a healthy planet for everyone.

Finally, I can only say one thing: The IB program is a positive way forward for any education system in crisis, any education system that desires quality, any education system that aspires to excellence, any education system that wishes to educate its citizens in the image of the twenty-first century, rather than the past century…”

I predict that the PISA 2012 results, when they are made public in December, will cause many nations around the world to make some serious policy changes to improve equity and quality in their national education systems. I urge you first to look at the International Baccalaureate, a system of education that delivers, and has delivered, consistently high results over the past forty years… But don’t take my word for it. The IB can speak for themselves:



The International Baccalaureate® (IB) aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the IB works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Find out more—Mission and strategy.

Main activities

The IB works in four areas.

Development of curriculum
Assessment of students
Training and professional development of teachers
Authorization and evaluation of schools


The IB works with 3,631 schools in 146 countries to offer the four IB programmes to approximately 1,116,000 students.


The IB offers four programmes for students aged 3 to 19. The programmes can be offered individually or as a continuum by IB World Schools.

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students aged 3 to 12 started in 1997 and is now offered by 1,062 IB World Schools.
Primary Years Programme at a glance

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students aged 11 to 16 started in 1994 and is now offered by 1,011 IB World Schools.
Middle Years Programme at a glance

The Diploma Programme for students aged 16 to 19 started in 1968 with first examinations in 1970 and is now offered by 2,453 IB World Schools.
Diploma Programme at a glance

The Career-related Certificate (IBCC) for students aged 16 to 19 is a new programme within the IB. IB Career-related Certificate at a glance

What makes the IB unique

We offer a continuum of education, consisting of three programmes for students aged 3 to 19.

We are proud of our reputation for high quality education sustained for over 35 years.

We encourage international-mindedness in IB students. To do this, we believe that students must first develop an understanding of their own cultural and national identity.

We encourage a positive attitude to learning by encouraging students to ask challenging questions, to critically reflect, to develop research skills, to learn how to learn and to participate in community service.

We ensure that our programmes are accessible to students in a wide variety of schools—national, international, public and private—through our unique relationship with IB World Schools worldwide.
Find out more—What makes the IB unique?

IB World Schools statistics

Source: The International Baccalaureate® (IB)

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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