What more can we learn from PISA tests? A comparative Analysis of the Long-term Dynamics of the Israeli International Educational Achievements

Yosi Yaffe, David Burg


One of the most prominent comparative international tests in recent years is conducted by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is used to assess students' knowledge of reading comprehension, mathematics, and science. PISA is most known for its goal to compare nations according to a league table ranking system. Israel has taken part in these assessments from its conception and since then it has been gradually decreasing in the world ranking. By 2015 the Israeli students are located between 37-40 out of 70 countries, down from 31-33 in 2000. Using Israel's data throughout the PISA cycles, we aim to offer an alternative comparative view for these international results, based on measures of self-change. These measures show a consistent and significant system-wide improvement of the Israeli educational performance in all three PISA tests since 2000. Not only does this contrast with its downward trend in the international ranking which is biased due to inclusion of more countries, the rate of change was consistently positive over time and surpassing that of its European and American counterparts. Indeed, these measures of change show a general growth of about 23 points over 15 years, which reflects a consistent improvement of 6 to 9 points in average per cycle since 2000 results. In light of these findings, the paper discusses the significance of measurements of change in comparative international tests. 


PISA, International tests, Education, Achievements, Measurement of change

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