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Are Israeli-Arab high school students neglected?

The low scores of Israeli-Arab high school students compared with Israeli-Jewish students should serve as a warning sign for the authorities, the education system and also the parents.
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Israeli school children are weak in reading, mathematics and science skills, according to test results issued Dec. 3 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The failure of Israeli students as reflected in the results of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which tests the reading, math and science skills of 15- and 16-year-old students, was twofold. Not only were their results below the average achieved by the students from 79 countries who took part in the 2018 testing, but the gap between the Jewish and Arab children’s achievements was huge given the poor performance of the Arab students, which declined compared to the 2015 results.

“Israel has the largest gap between its highest-performing schools and lowest-performing ones,” professor Andreas Schleicher, the OECD’s coordinator of PISA, explained to Israel’s Channel 13 News. “Social background is a powerful determinant of success in schools and I think those are challenges the [Israeli] system will need to address better in the future.”

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