In 2003 and 2004, Germany’s Standing Conference of State Ministers of Education and Culture (KMK) issued a set of educational standards for primary and early secondary education applicable to all of the country’s 16 states. In 2012, the KMK set educational standards for Germany’s general matriculation qualification.
The aim of the educational standards is to contribute to quality development and quality control in the German education system. They therefore define the competences that students should have developed by a certain stage in their school career.
Since 2006, the Institute for Educational Progress (IQB) has regularly conducted nationwide comparisons across the federal states to test whether and to what extent these learning goals are being attained. The test questions developed for this purpose are trialed beforehand by way of pilot studies.
The IQB standardization studies are conducted on representative samples in order to determine the level of difficulty of the test questions. The results of these studies also allow the development of competence stages, thus providing a uniform basis for the categorization of student performance.
Overall responsibility for the monitoring of educational standards lies with the IQB at Humboldt University in Berlin. Since 2015, Prof. Dr. Petra Stanat has been the head of the IQB's scientific division.
IEA’s contribution to the monitoring of educational standards consists of sampling, field operations, data coding, and data capturing and processing.