Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar_311.
(photo credit: Muki Schwartz)
Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar blasted Education Minister Shai Piron on
Wednesday for earlier this week canceling the Meitzav standardized
“I am of the opinion that whatever is not measured cannot be
managed,” Sa’ar, who was education minister in the last government, told Army
The interior minister accused Piron of taking learning and hard
work and bringing “butterflies and fairy tales” instead, which will not bring
“When we decide to cancel nationwide standardized tests that
serve as the basis for the education system’s data and are used to improve
schools, we are replacing a culture of measurement with one of pretending,” he
On Monday, the Education Ministry announced that there will be no
external Meitzav achievement exams in the coming school year.
committee of superintendents, principals and teachers will work on an
alternative to the tests.
The results of external Meitzav exams are
reported to the Education Ministry and are usual given every two years, while
internal Meitzav test are for individual schools to use. The Meitzav achievement
exam, which is used to evaluate schools, was administered to fifth- and
eighth-graders at schools around the country, testing language, math and science
According to Sa’ar, “no method has been invented to replace
testing knowledge with exams. Even if they’re leaving the internal Meitzav and
only getting rid of the external one, they’re canceling the basis that can be
used to shrink gaps and increase achievements. These exams don’t give grades to
students; they test the system and allow us to find strengths and
The interior minister accused Piron of populism saying that
people like the idea of canceling tests.
“It’s more comfortable, but it’s
wrong,” Sa’ar stated. “He decided to bury his head in the sand, which can cut
off improvements in the education system that we saw in international exams,
[educational] Olympics and similar competitions. There was an increase in
Sa’ar explained that he is publicly criticizing Piron
because he cares about education.
“I respect the current education
minister, and it is important that he believes in what he’s doing, but I think
his methods are mistaken and dangerous,” he concluded.
Piron responded to
Sa’ar later on Wednesday in an interview with Channel 2 News saying that the
later “contributed a lot to Israeli education, but I’m the education minister
now, and I have my own stances.”
The Education Ministry said he was not
canceling the Meitzav, but “freezing” it.
“We’ll know what’s happening in
every school,” Piron stated. “I’m not against measurements. What I’m against is
the superficial culture of ‘A Star is Born.’”