(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Education Ministry on Thursday celebrated the release of last year's improved scores of middle school Israeli children in standardized tests in the sciences, Hebrew, mathematics and English. However, a large achievement gap was found between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, with the largest gap occurring in the fields of English and math among eighth grade students.
According to the Education Ministry, in the last year, the gap between poor and rich students in the fifth grade was an average difference of 50 points in the field of science and technology and a disparity of 67 points in Hebrew. Among eighth grade students, a 72-point average score gap in English was recorded and a 104-point gap in mathematics.
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The average scores for all students in most subjects showed a general trend of gradual improvement, with the exception of fifth grade math scores, which jumped 22 points from 526 the previous year to 548 in last year's test results.
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar expressed his interpretation of the national testing results as proof that the ministry's goal of improving test scores was being achieved.
"The results are good and encouraging. We set achievement goals across
the board, and we can speak of a continuing trend [of improvement] among
all subjects, almost without exception. I believe we shall see
improvement in the international exam [results] as well in May of this