ISRAELI PUPILS JUMP AHEAD IN WORLD RANKING
DATA FROM INTERNATIONAL TIMSS AND PIRLS EXAMINATIONS SHOW: DRAMATIC INCREASE
IN ACHIEVEMENTS OF ISRAELI PUPILS – HEBREW AND ARABIC SPEAKERS – IN ALL
GPO - 24.12.2012
Israeli pupils lead Western countries in achievements in mathematics, and
are highly placed in achievements in the sciences and reading. This may be
seen in data from the international TIMSS and PIRLS examinations that were
published recently and which were presented to the Cabinet last week by
Education Minister Gideon Saar and Prof. Michal Beller, the Director-General
of RAMA – The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in
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.
Especially noteworthy is the pupils' achievements in mathematics – Israel
jumped to the 7th place (The top six places are held by East Asian countries
and Russia); in the sciences – Israel jumped from to the 13th place, and in
reading, there was a jump to the 18th place.
The organization's report notes positively the proportion of excellence and
high achievements among Israeli pupils, who achieved scores that were much
higher than the average in all fields.
Among the achievements of Israeli pupils:
* 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
* 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;
Education Ministry professionals exhibited the Ministry policies which led
to the significant improvement in the pupils' achievements:
* A significant addition of teaching hours to strengthen core studies
(mathematics, sciences and language) and the allocation of individual
teaching hours for teaching in small groups.
* Presenting an improvement in achievements as a goal and work according to
a plan of measurable goals.
* Transition from cuts to dramatic investment.
* Matching of teaching plans – matching teaching proficiencies to the
required proficiencies in international tests;
* Instruction and guidance of teachers;
* Implementation of plans and the allocation of tens of thousands of hours
to the advancement of excellent and low-achievement pupils.
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
Attached please find the rank ordering of the participating countries on
TIMSS (math and science – Grade 8) and PIRLS (reading – Grade 4)
For more details see http://rama.education.gov.il ("What's New")