Education in Israel - A Key to Economic Growth, Security, and a Better Society
During its first decades, Israel's education system succeeded in laying the groundwork for the country's hi-tech economy and world class universities. The system, however, is no longer working.
In recent years, Israeli pupils have been scoring at the bottom of the list of 25 OECD countries in the standardized PISA exam, which measures scholastic performance in math, science, and reading. They also score below average in the TIMMS assessments of math and science knowledge. To survive in its complex environment, Israel cannot afford anything less than the best in science education.
Source: A Picture of the Nation, 2014. The Taub Center
To answer this crucial need, Hod HaCarmel seeks to build, implement, and disseminate a new educational paradigm.
Toward a School System that Works
What needs to be done to remedy Israel's underperforming school system is clear. In 2007, McKinsey & Co. published a study analyzing the achievements of the world's best performing school systems as indicated by standardized international tests, interviews with over 100 experts and policy makers in the field and visits to over two dozen school systems in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. The study revealed that the main driver of educational performance in the world's best schools is teacher quality.
Students who learn with high-performing teachers progress three times faster than those placed with low performing teachers.
How the World's Best Performing School Systems Come Out on Top. McKinsey & Co., 2007
In primary school, students who study with low performing teachers are put at an irreversible educational disadvantage. McKinsey concluded that highly effective school systems:
- Get the right people to become teachers.
- Help these teachers continue to develop their pedagogical skills.
- Ensure that every child is able to benefit from excellent instruction.
Despite these findings, Israel's teachers remain underpaid and undertrained. This places a tremendous burden on good teachers already in the system, and it discourages potentially high quality teachers from entering or remaining in the profession.
Hod HaCarmel will use these insights, together with its own 50 years of experience in preschool education, to build a science-intensive K-12 school that works.