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TIMSS 2019 Around the World: Headlines announcing the latest results in Math and Science

This week, IEN has collected headlines focusing on the results from the latest release of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study of 2019. The press release reported that “science and mathematics achievement is on the rise,” with progress in the percentage of students reaching minimum proficiency as 92% of fourth grade students and 87% of eighth grade students reached  TIMSS 2019 Low International Benchmark.  At the same time, there is a growing gender gap in 4th grade in math, as boys had higher average scores in almost half of all countries.

In an effort to make the release more useful, IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) and UNESCO also produced “Measuring global education goals: how TIMSS helps; monitoring progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 using TIMSS,” and, in an interview, the head of the global study declared “Rankings are the least informative part.”

As in IEN’s report on the TIMSS results in 2015 (Headlines Around the World TIMSS 2015 Edition), Asian countries like Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong continue to dominate the top of the rankings with Singapore students “best in the world.”  Russian students followed just behind in math and ranked in the top five in science.

In the US, the release of results barely registered, with Forbes the only US publication who had an article appear in any of our searches. They reported “East Asia Aces Global Math, Science Tests As West Struggles To Keep Up.”  The National Center for Education Studies summed up the US performance by pointing out that the US “had higher average scores than most participating countries” but “only 1 of the 45 other education systems (Turkey) had a larger score gap between the top-performing (90th percentile) and bottom-performing (10th percentile) students than the United States.” Checker Finn, former Assistant Secretary for Research and Improvement at the US Department of Education, lamented “U.S. students continue to fall short of too many international peers.”

TIMSS results in headlines:

Australia

Australian students rise in maths, science, Canberra Times

Belgium

Flemish students score worse and worse on mathematics and sciences: , VRT.be

Bosnia and Herzegovina

TIMSS Results demonstrate that Schools in BiH are not prepared for the knowledge Society of the 21st Century, Sarajevo Times

Cyprus

Minister welcomes improved maths, science scores, Cyprus Mail

France

Maths: The fall of the Frenchhouse, Café Pedagogique 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s declining pupil performance in global maths and science study triggers Education Bureau review, South China Morning Post

Israel

Israel’s Math, Science Rankings Modestly Improve, but Arab Students Left Behind, Haaretz

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland primary schools rank among the best in the world in maths, The Irish News

Morocco

Moroccan students struggle with mathematics and science, Yabiladi

Philippines

Philipines last in math, science among 58 countries, The Manila Times

Singapore

Singapore students best in world for maths, science, New Straits Times

South Korea

S. Korean students have high scores in math and science, but confidence levels are lower than global average, Hankyoreh

South Africa

The shocking state of maths and science education in South Africa, BusinessTech

Turkey

Reformed approach key to Turkish students’ rising success in math, science, Daily Sabah

United Arab Emirates

Dubai private school pupils now rank among world’s best in Maths and Science, Gulf News

— Thomas Hatch

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