• Is PISA 2012 relevant to mathematics education in Norway and Sweden?• In what ways are the different leadership styles among principals in the Nordic countries related to teachers’ attitudes and behaviours and students achievements?• What are the associations between professional development, job satisfaction and self-efficacy?• Can collegial work and school leader feedback improve teachers’ self-efficacy in Nordic classrooms?• What characterizes high-performing students in mathematics within the Nordic countries?• Are international large-scale educational assessments elephants arriving at the gates of our national educational system?These are some of the questions that are discussed in this collection of articles. The issues are based on the results of the OECD studies PISA and TALIS. The articles aim to provide input for policy discussions and to further policy development within the Nordic countries. Therefore, the main target groups are educational ministers and policymakers at all levels. These analyses will also provide input to the joint Nordic initiatives on educational development.