As the world becomes economically smaller and smaller, the world job and trade markets are becoming more and more competitive. In this type of market, it is imperative for a country to have a superb school system in order to produce competitive workers for the top fields.
England Steps Down
In recent years, England has stepped down in educational rankings when compared to other countries around the world. South Korea and Finland scored in the top positions for writing ability whereas Taiwan and Finland achieved the highest scores in maths.
Were do these numbers come from?
The figures that back this information up come from the International Student Assessment, (otherwise known as Pisa) performance tables. These tables are based on tests that are taken by children fifteen years of age. They are aimed at assessing their ability to apply their school gained knowledge to real world situations. These tests are performed every three years. Pisa ratings are based on tests that are given to 400,000 students within 57 countries. These tests are an attempt to measure the attainment of different students within different educational systems.
How is England's progress?
In the latest report, the UK's performance has declined in reading and in maths compared to other international competitors. The UK is the only group to have placed in the top performing group of the year 2000, to have slipped down into the lower group. The UK has also lost ground in the area of sciences.
In the year 2000, the UK placed eighth in maths and seventh in reading. From there they have slipped down to 24th place in maths and into seventeenth place in reading, Finland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Korea, the other countries that rounded out the upper group and are still placed within that group.
The UK was passed up by Slovenia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria in the area of maths. The UK is still declining in science and reading skills also. A reading performance test was given to ten year old children in England and it was found that they had fallen from third place all the way down to nineteenth place according to the 'Progress in International Reading Literacy Study'.
The UK government has recognized the issues facing them with declining marks in an ever increasingly competitive world. Great efforts are being put together in order to intervene where students may be struggling. The 'Every Child Counts' program promises personalized learning so that no student falls behind. Schools are still concerned, they complain that every year the government boasts about improvements it is making to the educational system, yet every year the country falls further behind.
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