Tag Archives: Germany


Public school or private school? – Two educational researchers discuss (in German)
Otto, J & Spiewak, M.  Die Zeit (18 May 2012)

Two educational researchers, Heiner Barz and Manfred Weiß, are interviewed and discuss whether private schools create divisions in society or are pioneers of school reforms. The researchers, who have opposite opinions about private schools, argue about performance of pupils, PISA results comparing private and public schools, social equity, and school funding.  According to Weiß, “Private schools are not better when you consider the composition of the student body. Therefore, OECD has recently come to the conclusion that private schools are not the solution to raise the performance level of a country.”  But, Barz retorts:  “It’s not so simple. Schools must do more to teach than knowledge. Equally important is the school climate, cooperation with parents, the satisfaction of the students.”


The step by step integration of the inclusion
Belz, N.  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (11 April 2012)

The debate over the inclusion of children with special needs in regular schools is still ongoing in Germany. All parties agree generally with inclusion of children with special needs in heterogeneous school settings, although they do not agree with how, to what extent, and the speed at which it can be implemented.  Germany agreed to the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2009), with inclusion being a part of that agreement.  In 2011 the conference of German cultural ministers gave a recommendation for an inclusive school system but devised no concrete plans for the states to realize it. The representative of the monitoring office for the rights of persons with disabilities at the German Institute for Human Rights declares that none of the German states have had an inclusive school system until now. Only 22.3% of the children with special needs were taught at a regular school in 2010-2011. The remainder special needs students were still taught at special schools. There are some schools that have a good inclusive system, but Germany is still far away from full inclusion. (The European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education provides information about the development of inclusion in Germany.)

The following video from Deutsche Welle  highlights the Regine-Hildebrandt school in the German state of Brandenburg, showing “that it is possible to bring disabled students into the mainstream public education system.”


Debate about the comparability of school leaving examinations (in German)
Spiegel Online  (6 March 2012) 

German education ministers are debating students’ school leaving exams. Until now, every state has had its own tests depending on each state’s formal curriculum. Some ministers now want to make school leaving examinations comparable for all states. Other ministers charge that this would result in great changes and problems (e.g. all pupils having exams on the same day). All ministers agree, however, that there have to be comparable educational standards. The first results of this policy debate may be decided at the conference of the ministers happening in the near future.