Complaints lead ministry to examine math tests

Chief mathematics inspector becomes target of phone threats; Piron condemns "violent behavior."

Shai Piron at Kibbutzim College of Education 370 (photo credit: Amir Reiner)
Shai Piron at Kibbutzim College of Education 370
(photo credit: Amir Reiner)
The Education Ministry said on Wednesday it will conduct an “organized examination” of the mathematics matriculation exam that took place on Tuesday afternoon, after students complained about the difficulty of the test.
The ministry added that if the claims are found to be justified, it will deal with the matter so that no harm is done to students.
After the test, students from across the country expressed their frustration with the exam questionnaires.
“I arrived to the test ready,” a Rehovot high-school student told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “I felt good, I knew the material, I was optimistic.”
“I saw that I was not succeeding in solving the first question, nor the second one and ended up spending some 45 minutes on them,” he added. “It was a total waste of time.”
The student, who took five study units in math and had received a score of 90 for his schoolwork on the subject, added that he did not have the time to go back to the first exercises for a last attempt at the end of the exam.
“I’m not one of the students who are allowed extra time, but realistically, even if I was given extra time, which wouldn’t have hurt, I am not sure I would have been able to solve them,” the student said.
“When I came out, my first thought was that I’m going to have to take it again. It’s too bad,” he told the Post. “Then I went home, went online to see the solution, and I realized it was above my abilities.”
According to him, “the general feeling wasn’t good,” and most of his classmates shared the same impressions after finishing the test.
The ministry said it has also received several threats since the end of the exam and has forwarded them to its security department. Some have been personally directed at the ministry’s chief mathematics inspector by phone.
Education Minister Shai Piron condemned the threats and said they “blur the line between expression of opinion and violent behavior.”
Some 200,000 students from 1,023 schools across the country took the exam on Tuesday