Greece slips in scholastic PISA study rankings

Nellie Chapman
December 4, 2019

But they still emerged among the top performers in the triennial Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), which tested students on how well they apply knowledge and skills and solve problems.

They are ranked fourth out of 36 OECD countries, third in the European Union and eighth out of a 77 countries covered.

"This is about much more than just test-taking - it's about how well we are preparing Australia's students for adult life".

The results revealed Estonia was the highest-performing OECD country in reading and science, while Japan topped results in maths.

"But such benchmarking is useful to gauge where we stand internationally, and to reflect on where we can improve, such as making education more holistic, inculcating greater joy for learning, and creating an environment where failure is more accepted".

Compared to the 35 other OECD members, the USA average in reading literacy was lower than the average in 4 education systems, higher than in 21, and not measurably different than in 10. For mathematics, Norway's score improved by one point.

"On a scale of 0 to 1,000, average scores in mathematics literacy across the education systems ranged from 591 in B-S-J-Z (China) to 325 in the Dominican Republic", stated NCES. In contrast, most developed countries have seen little improvement in their scores despite a 15% increase in education spending in the OECD area during that period, the organization noted.

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said an overhaul of the national maths curriculum was urgently needed to "make sure it is relevant and engaging for students and to reverse the long-term decline in Australian students" maths skills'. "It's comparable to NAEP's below basic".

He said the results also moved the country up into the middle one-third countries participating in the global assessment, from being in the bottom one-third in previous cycles.

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Two out of three of our nation's children aren't proficient readers.

The gap between the highest and lowest performing students is widening, despite $1 trillion in Federal spending over 40 years designated specifically to help close it.

"In that light, in maintaining education standards over its participation in PISA, Indonesia has been able to raise the quality of its education system", the report said.

The tests and survey conducted in 2018 also indicated New Zealand students' well-being had worsened, with one-in-five reporting they did not feel safe at school, more students saying they felt lonely, and more complaining of disorder in their classrooms.

In both reading and math, the top 10 percent of students have performed significantly better since 2012.

In mathematics, meanwhile, the study gives Indonesian students a score of 379, a 7-point decrease from 2015, while the mean science score decreased slightly, dropping to 396 points from 403 achieved in 2015.

By contrast, the bottom 10 percent of USA students declined during that time.

Judgment on performance in maths is also on hold pending the 2021 PISA assessment when participating students will have studied the new Junior Cycle maths syllabus.

In the latest survey, students from Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang managed to get the first in all three categories; while students from Macao ranked third in all three categories, followed by Hong Kong in fourth place for reading and mathematics.

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