A Critical View on Indicator-Based Educational Reporting in Germany
Ulrike Rockmann
State Statistical Institute Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin, Germany

Educational reporting is a challenge for every country. The OECD publishes their report “Education at a Glance” on a yearly basis describing the development of the educational systems in 40 countries. Great efforts are put into the development of quantitative, internationally comparable indicators that are suitable for analyzing and comparing the quite different national educational systems. Though fulfilling that purpose, this particular set of indicators alone is clearly unsuitable to illustrate the internal diversity of a single nation's educational system. Nevertheless, international, national, and regional indicator sets should be constructed in a compatible or at least comparable way.

The talk presents educational reporting in Germany on the national, federal state, and regional level using quantitative indicators. It is discussed which data sources are used and how coherent they are. The examples presented include all stages of education - ranging from early childhood education to continuing education of adults. A special focus is set on the educational opportunities of children and young adults in relation to their social status and immigration background.

Because educational reporting is not done for its own sake, one has to take a close look at the reception of the reports, especially by the stakeholders. Is the meaning of the indicators communicated in an understandable way? Is the reporting seen as a helpful instrument to develop explicit recommendations for actions? This last question is virulent in particular in Germany since the educational system is under the responsibility of the 16 federal states having the cultural sovereignty.


Klieme, E., Doebert, H., Baethge, M., Fuessel, H.-P., Hetmeier, H.-W., Rauschenbach, Th., Rockmann, U., Wolter, A. (2010). Education in Germany 2010 – An indicator-based report. Bielefeld.

Lohauss, P., Rehkaemper, K., Rockmann, U., Wendt, W. (2011). Education in Berlin and Brandenburg – An indicator-based report. Berlin. (in print)

Keywords: educational reporting; quantitative indicators; coherence

Biography: Ulrike Rockmann studied mathematics, computer science and physical education. She worked several years in a computer company. She taught research-methodology, statistics and movement science from 1994 till 2001 at the university of Oldenburg. Since 2003 she is the president of State Statistical Institute Berlin (Germany). Currently, educational research using data of official statistics is one of her key activities.