Israeli eighth-graders ranked seventh among students from 42 countries who took the mathematics portion of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study examination in 2011, according to results released on Tuesday. Israel ranked 13th in the science portion. The rankings are a dramatic leap from rankings in the mid-20s when the tests were administered in 2006. Israel rose 13 places to 18th in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study test. Fourth graders from 45 countries took part in that exam.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu congratulated Education Minister Gid'on Sa'ar on the achievement. Netanyahu said, ''Our policy is fostering the values of the heritage of Israel alongside encouraging and nurturing excellence in educating the children of Israel. He added, "I want to thank the teachers, administrators and parents of students who cooperated in implementing important reforms led by the government, and the impressive results are evident."