PISA 2000: Focus on Low Socio-economic Status Students' Achievement in Reading Literacy

Publication Details

This report focuses on reading literacy of low SES 15-year-old students. Using information from the PISA 2000 study, this report reviews educational outcomes and examines the factors associated with high achievement among low SES students.

Author(s): Comparative Education Research Unit, Ministry of Education

Date Published: November 2004

Executive Summary

Students come from many different social backgrounds, and their family circumstances can have a bearing on educational outcomes. Socio-economic status (SES) can influence students’ occupational aspirations and expectations and, in turn, their commitment to learning. Students from higher socio-economic backgrounds will likely have greater access to resources, greater awareness of options and higher parental expectations for academic success.

Yet, results from the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) show that, while low SES students may not share these advantages, not all perform poorly and some achieve to a high level. After reviewing educational outcomes for low SES 15-year-olds from the PISA 2000 study, the current report focuses on reading literacy and the factors associated with high achievement among low SES students. By highlighting the differences between high and low achievers within the low SES category, this report should assist in identifying some of the factors that may mitigate the effects of socio-economic disadvantage on educational achievement.

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