Israeli students lead Western countries in achievements in mathematics according to data issued by TIMSS and PIRLS. The TIMSS and PIRLS tests are held by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The tests were held in 42 countries in May-June 2011. In these tests, Israeli pupils reached the highest achievements since Israel joined the international tests at the end of the 1990’s. Israel placed 7th in mathematics, behind several East Asian countries and Russia.
The Education Ministry noted the following achievements in a press release:
* Arabic-speaking Israeli pupils significantly improved their achievements and jumped from the bottom to the average of the list of countries;
* They achieved the greatest improvement among “countries with high achievements;”
* A sharp increase in the proportion of excellent pupils and a significant reduction in the proportion of low-achievement pupils;
* A higher proportion of excellent and high-achievement pupils than the average among participating countries;
According to Education Minister Gideon Saar, “Israeli pupils’ achievements on these tests express a revolution. This great success was achieved not with a magic wand, but with very hard work. Today is a national holiday for the State of Israel and its education system. Achievement is not a dirty word, but a main goal of the education system which needs to bring its pupils to the highest achievements. Our pupils are the best trained in the world. If we provide them with the tools and the opportunities, they will lead.”