Israeli students ranked seventh worldwide and top among Western nations on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study test in the 2011 school year, according to results released Dec. 11.
On the TIMSS science test, Israeli students came in 13th place worldwide while on the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study test they came in 18th. On all of the tests, Israel finished higher than it ever had before.
The TIMSS test was administered to eighth-grade Israelis while the PIRLS test was administered to fourth-grade Israeli students.
Asian countries led all others in math, science and reading, the test results show.
The TIMSS and PIRLS tests are given every four years. In 2007, Israeli students came in 24th in math, 25th in science and 31st in reading.
The results however did not include test scores from all sectors of the education system. According to the tests’ website, Israel has the highest rate of exclusion of student testing in the world, standing at over 20 percent of its fourth-grade student population. Israel, as a matter of practicality, needed to define its tested populations according to the structure of their school systems, the TIMSS website said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed pride in the “wonderful achievement” of Israel’s students and teachers.
Read an interview with Education Minister Gideon Saar on improving academic scores here.