The results of the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the most important comparative international education survey, give some grounds for optimism about the achievements of Israeli 15-year old students, but there is still a long way to go. The 2009 PISA results, published today, show that while Israel achieved a substantial improvement of 35 points in the reading test, the country's pupils are treading water in mathematics and the sciences.
Moreover, Israel's score is well below the average of the OECD, in which Israel is included for the first time.
Israel's score in the reading tests rose to 474 points from 439 points in the previous test in 2006, putting Israel in 36th place out of the 64 countries included in the PISA survey, compared with 40th place out of 57 countries in 2006.
However, there are still wide discrepancies between Israel's Hebrew speakers and its Arabic speakers, which is consistent with other comparative tests, both Israeli and international.