Latvia's PISA OECD education rankings give cause for concern

Clay Curtis
December 4, 2019

"On a scale of 0 to 1,000, average scores in science literacy across the education systems ranged from 590 points in B-S-J-Z (China) to 336 points in the Dominican Republic", NCES noted.

High school students in Chinese mainland ranked first globally in reading, mathematics and science, according to a 2018 global benchmarking study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released on Wednesday.

Associate Professor Jason Tan of the National Institute of Education said he was not surprised that Singapore students were afraid to fail.

Amin said the Pisa 2018 involved 6,111 participants, selected to represent 388,638 of the 15-year-old students in the country.

Compared to Singapore, Australians were one-and-one-third of a year lower in reading, around three years lower in maths and around one-and-three-quarter years lower in science.

New Zealand's average scores were 508 for science (down from 513 in 2015), 506 for reading (509 in 2015), and 494 for maths (495 in 2015). China placed 27th in reading, sixth in mathematics and tenth in science then.

"Our students should be ranked among the best in the world".

"In all of these cases, reading, math, and science, other countries' education systems that were scoring higher than us, are now scoring comparable to us or below us", explained Peggy Carr, associate commissioner for the National Center on Education Statistics (NCES), according to Education Week.

Some 12pc of Irish students are top performers in reading (up from 11pc 2009) compared with an OECD average of 9pc.

Malaysia's performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) 2018 has improved.

It showed that students only read when they are forced to or for a specific goal, rather than as an interest.

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As MOE has put in place measures to reduce the emphasis on grades, he said: "It would be interesting to look at the next Pisa results to see if these changes will change the way parents and students think".

The OECD average was 487 in reading, and 489 in mathematics and science.

The OECD first started participating in the triennial PISA in 2000.

Pisa aims to compare worldwide education systems and their outcomes, and some governments set their education policy according to its findings.

For reading it was ranked 11th equal with Sweden out of 79 participating countries and regions.

Among the other findings in Pisa were that socio-economic background has a significant effect on pupil attainment.

Craig says more students also reported that their classrooms were not good for learning.

"The right things, they're there, but they're actually a bit piecemeal", she said.

"PISA recognizes that evolving technologies have changed the ways people read and exchange information, whether at home, at school or in the workplace".

"Despite the lack of interest in reading as a hobby, three reading materials enjoyed by students according to the survey are comics, and fictional and non-fictional books", he said. Meanwhile, girls expressed a greater fear of failure than boys in nearly every country, although they outperformed boys in reading by a large margin.

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