Chareidi Girls Achieve First Place in Math and Reading Scores in Israel

By Hamodia Staff

A classroom in a chareidi girls’ school in Tzfas. (David Cohen/Flash90)

For the first time, chareidi female students have surpassed their peers in Israel in both mathematics and reading, as per the results of the 2022 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam released last week.

The study, conducted across 81 countries, indicates a notable drop in academic performance among most students in OECD countries, likely due to the extensive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning. Despite this trend, Israel has ascended in global rankings, securing the 30th spot in reading, 37th in science, and 38th in mathematics.

Previously criticized for their academic achievements, chareidi girls have now not only excelled in reading and mathematics but have also outperformed their peers in science, indicating a significant improvement compared to national-religious and Arab-speaking female students.

Experts in education attribute this success to the chareidi girls’ ability to maintain their achievements despite a global decline in mathematics scores and a general drop among religious Jewish girls in Israel.

The released data shows that chareidi girls scored 474 in mathematics compared to 473 for secular girls, 454 for religious girls, and 388 for Arab-speaking girls. In reading, chareidi girls secured a 12-point lead over state-educated girls, and in science, they scored 9 points higher than national-religious girls.

Alongside the improvements in chareidi girls’ academic achievements, the Ministry of Education noted a sharp decline in the performance of national-religious girls within the religious state education system. The reasons behind this unexpected decline are yet to be determined, although it’s speculated that challenges in remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic might have affected girls’ achievements, particularly those in religious education.

Israel’s performance in mathematics is akin to that of the United States and Turkey, while in science, it aligns with countries like Vietnam and Slovakia. Despite the improvements, Israel still trails significantly behind developed countries’ average performance in these subjects, whereas in reading, Israel is positioned close to the OECD average.

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