OECD Reports on Israel
Israel as a member country of the OECD is closely monitored. Timely reports are regularly provided including descriptive data as well as relevant international comparisons. Here we provide links to some of the latest reports as well as extracts directly relevant to education.
Society at a Glance 2014 Highlights: Israel OECD Social Indicators
Israel: Education at a Glance 2013
Reviews of Vocational Education and Training – A Skills beyond School: Review of Israel
Measuring Innovation in Education: Israel Country Note
OECD Overview of the Educational System in Israel
• Israel's population is well educated. In 2011, Israel ranked second among OECD countries for the percentage of adults with a tertiary education: 46% compared with an OECD average of 32%. The share of the population with at least an upper secondary education was 83%, well above the OECD average of 75%, while at the same time, the proportion of those with only an elementary education was well below the OECD average, 17% compared with 25% across OECD countries.
• Between 2005 and 2010, spending did not keep pace with the significant increase in tertiary student enrollments. During that period, tertiary enrollments increased by 8% while expenditure increased by 7%, decreasing expenditure per student by 1%. At the primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary levels of education, however, expenditure per student increased by 20%. While student enrolments increased by 8%, expenditure increased by 30%.
• Israel's annual expenditure per student by educational institutions from primary to tertiary education was more than USD 6 500 in 2010. This is almost one-third less than the OECD average of USD 9 313, which represents the eighth lowest expenditure per student of OECD countries. However, Israel ranks fifth among OECD countries in expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP. In 2010, the country spent 7.4% of its GDP on education, 1.1 percentage points more than the OECD average. Although expenditure per student is not particularly high, Israel's relatively large young population explains the total level of expenditure.
• In Israel, teachers' salaries increased significantly more at the primary level than at other levels of education over the last decade. This increase is largely due to the implementation of the New Horizon reform. The agreement included increased teachers' salaries with more teaching hours. In 2011, 80% of the full-time equivalent teachers in primary education, 26% in lower secondary education and 8% in pre-primary education were included in the reform.
• Teachers' salaries, relative to other tertiary-educated workers, were higher in 2011 in Israel than the OECD average for every level of education (pre-primary through upper secondary). A primary teacher earned 95% of an equivalent worker with tertiary education in Israel (compared to an OECD average of 82%). Similarly, a lower secondary teacher earned 93% of an equivalent worker with tertiary education (compared to an OECD average of 85%).
Student performance (PISA 2012)
• In Israel, the average performance in reading of 15-year-olds is 486 points, compared to an average of 496 points in OECD countries. Girls perform better than boys with a statistically significant difference of 44 points (OECD average: 38 points higher for girls).
• On average, 15-year-olds score 466 points in mathematics, the main topic of PISA 2012, compared to an average of 494 points in OECD countries. Boys perform better than girls with a non statistically significant difference of 12 points (OECD average: 11 points higher for boys).
• In science literacy, 15-year-olds in Israel score 470 points compared to an average of 501 points in OECD countries. Girls perform better than boys with a non statistically significant difference of 1 points (OECD average: only 1 point higher for boys).
Teachers and teaching conditions (TALIS 2013)
• The typical teacher in lower secondary education in Israel is a 42 year old woman, who reports having 16 years of teaching experience and who completed a teacher education or training programme. The proportion of female principals is lower than the proportion of female teachers (53% and 76%, respectively). On average, principals in Israel are 49 years old and report having 10 years of experience in their role.
• 91% of lower secondary teachers report having undertaken professional development in the 12 months prior to the survey. The areas in which the highest proportions of teachers report a high need for professional development are developing information and communications technology (ICT) skills for teaching and strategies for using new technologies in the workplace.
• Teachers in Israel report spending 77% of their lesson time on actual teaching and learning. This means that 22% of their time is reportedly spent on administrative tasks and keeping order in the classroom (9% and 13%, respectively). They also report spending 18 hours per week on average teaching, 5 hours preparing lessons and 4 hours marking student work.
• More than 90% teachers report overall satisfaction with their job. However, only 34% of them believe that teaching is a valued profession in society.
OEDC Measuring Innovation in Education (2014): Israel Country Note
Israel’s top five innovations in organisational policy and practice:
1. More peer discussions amongst secondary teachers…
2. More teacher collaboration in developing secondary instructional materials…
3. More external evaluation of secondary school classrooms…
4. More use of incentives for recruitment and retention of secondary teachers…
5. More peer evaluation of teachers in secondary education…
Israel’s top five innovations in pedagogic practice:
1. More use of textbooks as primary resources in secondary classrooms…
2. More individualised reading instruction in primary school classrooms…
3. More relating of secondary school lessons to everyday life…
4. More observation and description in secondary science lessons…
5. More text interpretation in primary lessons…