33% Of Israeli Students
Lack Basic Reading Skills
By Relly Sa'ar
Haaretz Correspondent

One third of Israeli 15-year-olds are unable to understand what they have read, due to lack of basic reading skills, according to an international survey released Tuesday.

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA-2000) survey on industrialized countries (OECD) was published simultaneously in the 41 countries, including Israel, that took part in the research.

Israeli youngsters scored an

average grade of 453 in the reading-skills section of the survey, positioning them at the bottom third on the international achievement scale, with a ranking of 31 out of the 41 participating countries. Finnish students ranked first, averaging a score of 546 points, while American students were also placed in the top third of the scale.

Israeli students also performed poorly in the other subjects included in the survey, and were ranked 33rd for math and sciences.

The low grades in reading skills, math and sciences could explain the Ministry of Education's decision Monday to set up a panel of experts to look into the poor results.

The PISA survey included some 300 thousand students worldwide and was based on data collected two years ago.

In Israel, 4500 students participated in the survey, comprising a statistical representation of the entire student population




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