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Much of the work for this report was performed by staff in the Education Program at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and was funded by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It is based on a similar publication produced by the French Ministry of Education.

The following international colleagues reviewed the descriptions of the countries in appendix A and offered useful comments for updating them: Liliana Pascual of the Ministry of Education (Buenos Aires, Argentina); Sue Thomson of the Australian Council for Educational Research (Melbourne, Australia); João Galvão Bacchetto of the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (Brasilia, Brazil); Tamara Knighton of Statistics Canada and Pierre Brochu of the Council of Ministers of Education (Toronto, Canada); Wang Lei of the National Education Examinations Authority (Beijing, China); Christine Sälzer of the TUM School of Education (Munich, Germany); Irène Verlet of the Ministry of Education (Paris, France); Ryo Watanabe of the National Institute for Educational Research (Tokyo, Japan); Mi-Young Song of the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation (Seoul, Republic of Korea); María Antonieta Díaz Gutiérrez of the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education (Mexico City, Mexico); Galina Kovalyova of the Russian Academy of Education (Moscow, Russian Federation); Ali Panal of the Ministry of National Education (Ankara, Turkey); and Sigrid Boyd of the National Foundation for Educational Research (Slough, United Kingdom).5

The authors would like to acknowledge the late Dr. Eugene H. Owen, whose leadership was instrumental in the launch of the G-8 indicator series and its expansion to the G-20 countries in the current volume. Dr. Owen was Senior Advisor for International Assessments at NCES for many years and the project officer for this report and the preceding volumes in the series. Dr. Owen passed away suddenly on March 23, 2015. He will be remembered for his seminal contributions to the field of international student assessment; his kind, generous spirit; his great sense of humor; and his unmatched brilliance. His expertise, dedication, and friendship will be deeply missed.

5 Country descriptions for India, Indonesia, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa did not receive third-party verification from international colleagues.