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The National Measurement and Evaluation Authority in the Ministry of Education is publishing today the results of the mother tongue tests conducted during the past year among 210,569 students in approximately 3,300 schools in Israel.

The data shows that there has been an improvement in all the population groups tested in the 4th grades. The proportion of students who were classified as high performance in the test rose to 59% among Hebrew speakers (an increase of 16%), to 40% among students under haredi supervision (an increase of 8%) and to 12% among Arabic speakers (an increase of 9%).

In the 4th grades, among Hebrew speakers, a similar increase was recorded in the average achievement in the state, state-religious and haredi supervision. Among the Arabic speakers there was also an improvement in all groups, and the Bedouin students in the south stood out for the better.

In the 8th grades, a joint test was held for the first time for Hebrew and Arabic speakers, which allows for a direct comparison between them. Significant differences emerge from the comparison data: only 24% of the Arabic-speaking students were classified according to their performance in the test to the high level of reading comprehension in their mother tongue (Arabic), compared to 50% of the Hebrew-speaking students. In the 4th grades, in which different tests were conducted and different performance levels were defined, the comparison between the language demographics is based on the proportion of students who meet the requirements of the different curricula. The data shows that 12% of the Arabic-speaking students compared to 59% of the Hebrew-speaking students meet the requirements of the various programs.

Among the 4th grade students in the haredi education who participated in the test, there was an improvement similar in magnitude to that recorded among other Hebrew speakers. The average achievement of students in haredi education is lower than that of Hebrew speakers, but when the socio-economic background of the students is taken into account, the picture changes.

The mother tongue level of haredi students from high and low backgrounds is not significantly different from that of other Hebrew speakers, while among students from medium socio-economic backgrounds there is a significant gap to the detriment of haredi students. In each of the background groups, the percentage of students from haredi education at the high performance level is about 10-15% lower than other Hebrew speakers. It should be remembered that the participation rate among haredi students was partial (about 43% of schools and about 27% of haredi students).

The Minister of Education, Yoav Kisch, said that "besides the enormous challenges at the start of the school year, this is good news for the education system. We are improving, and moving forward. In the coming year, we will expand the assessment and measurement system to include mathematics, English, and science and technology, in a way that will allow us to understand our situation make accurate and better decisions next year."

The Director General of the National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education, Dr. Gal Alon, added that "the data are very encouraging. We were happy to report 4 out of 9 (43%) of the principals of the elementary schools about a large increase in the achievements of their students, and we were happy to see a negligible rate (3%) of schools where there was a large drop in achievement. The immigration is horizontal, for everyone, including in haredi society."