New report: "School results are plummeting"

Monday 26 September 2016

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IVA, economist Magnus Henrekson and PhD student Sebastian Jävervall are releasing a report “Svenska skolresultat rasar – vad vet vi?” (“Swedish School results are plummeting – What do we know?)

The report analyses three international knowledge assessment systems – PISA; TIMSS and PIRLS – and is not only presenting average results, but also analysing how developments have affected the strongest and the weakest students. It also presents some international comparisons.

New PISA and TIMSS studies will be presented at the end of 2016. To draw well-founded conclusions they need to be able to compare these with the results from past studies. The IVA report on falling Swedish school results is therefore filling a knowledge gap which was not filled by past synthesis work.

The report conclusions include the following: 

  • Significant knowledge decline, including among the strongest students, where the best students in PISA mathematics in year 9 have declined the most compared to the OECD average. Only one in one hundred students at scientific and technology upper secondary programmes are reaching the advanced level in mathematics (the corresponding statistic in Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea is almost 50 percent of students).
  • A unique synthesis of the results of the diagnostic test for admission to Chalmers University of Technology shows that the percentage of correct answers has gone down more than 50 percent since 1973. Despite high marks achieved at upper secondary schools, students’ test results are falling.

Editorial in DN Debatt (24/9) here.

For more information and interviews, contact one of the report authors, Magnus Henrekson: +46 (0)70 222 9700

The report was presented at an IVA seminar on Tuesday, 27 September, 5.30–7 p.m. Those present included State Secretary from the Ministry for Education and Research, Erik Nilsson (S).