Are students well prepared for future challenges? Can they analyse, reason and communicate effectively? Do they have the capacity to continue learning throughout life?
The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) answers these questions and more, through its surveys of 15-year-old in the principal industrialised countries.
Every three years, it assesses how far students near the end of compulsory education have acquired some of the knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society.
But, what is PISA? If you're not quite sure what PISA is or does, and you've got about 12 minutes to spare, watch the video in graphics below:
It's a breathtaking concept. For the OECD, it's a very real way of finding out how well-prepared today's students are to participate in society.
Did this video helped you to understand why the OECD's number-crunchers trigger such intense debate about the state of education around the world every time they release the results of the latest PISA survey?
"The best teachers are often found in schools attended by advantage students who generally do well on their subjects anyway."