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The 2009 edition of the German education monitor (Bildungsmonitor) has just been published. This education audit was started in 2004. It compares the performance of Germany’s states, across all sectors of education, comprising kindergarten, school education, vocational training and higher education.
There is good news. Overall performance levels have gone up over the last years. And there are surprises: the overall leaders are, as already in the past years, Saxony and Thuringia. They are not amongst Germany’s richer states and display that educational attainment and effort is not dependent on money alone. Rich Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg occupy third and forth places. The surprises continue when looking at particular subsets of the education system. In the higher education-related field of ‘academisation’, the leader is poor Bremen. In the field of research, this state comes second, led by the Saarland. Reversing conceived wisdom, one is almost tempted to conclude that being small and poor is conducive to achievement.