This paper is based primarily on findings from a broad range of official reports published during the past year, by the OECD, Bank of Israel, the Central Bureau of Statistics, and Ministry of Education among others, dealing with various indicators relating to education in Israel and their current and potential future ramifications. The current analysis will focus only on the state of education in Israel, but future JPPI analyses will encompass other aspects that will help us understand the state of education among the Jewish people worldwide.
The first indicator people tend to rely on when attempting to assess the state of education in Israel is outcomes. However, we cannot understand Israel’s schooling and education systems merely by looking at student achievement on international or internal Israeli examinations. These offer only a partial view of a much larger picture. In order for a comprehensive index to provide a global view for priorities and policy, we must examine three principal types of data: inputs, outputs, and indirect indices (see appendix table).
We should take note of the fact that the data provide us with a picture not only regarding this specific point in time, but also a three-dimensional view:
- State of the Israeli education system at a specific point in time;
- State of the Israeli education system from a historical perspective – a change in the situation compared with previous years;
- An international comparison – the state of the Israeli education system compared to other nations (mainly OECD nations). This portrait can be examined at a specific point in time and/or over time.
Before we begin our analysis it is important to emphasize that although the State of Israel is the nation of the Jewish people, Israel’s population is mixed and also includes other religious and ethnic groups. The data presented below, particularly international data, refer mainly to all pupils in Israel and not just the Jewish population.