Education is one of the top priorities or the top priority in most countries of the world. Having an educated population is crucial for maintaining a functioning government and making sure that there are skilled citizens who can run the economy, manage private industry well, etc. .
Given this knowledge, we can examine why some countries seem to do a better job of educating their citizens. To attempt to determine this, I conducted a sample study of education policy in Japan and Sweden as related to their respective national governments.
I investigated the correlation between the amount of government resources allocated to education spending and the age to which governments make education compulsory (independent variables) and the success of those nations on the tests conducted by the Program for International Student Testing and the percentage of students who earn high school diplomas. .
PISA is a division of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a world wide organization consisting of thirty member nations best known for its publications and its statistics. The work of the OECD covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics to trade, education, and the development of scientific innovations. My hypothesis was that the more funding a country allocated to education and the longer the government makes education compulsory, the better the country would perform on the PISA tests and the greater the number of students in the respective country who earn high school diplomas.
I was expecting to see a direct correlation between the amount of government money spend per student and the success of students on the PISA tests, which measure ability in three areas: mathematical literacy, scientific literacy, and reading literacy. I found this was not the case, however. There is little correlation between countries that spend above average amounts to educate each student and those countries" performance on the PISA tests.