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OECD: Hungarian students fall below international averages

Analysis

Some stunning and disappointing news came Hungary’s way this week with the release of results from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test. Among the 65 nations surveyed, Hungarian students placed a dismal 39th in the rankings, dropping in each of the three areas of study from the previous study of 2009.

The result placed Hungary just behind the United States (whose standing the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría labeled “a great loss to the American economy”), Lithuania and Sweden, and ahead of Croatia.

State Secretary for Education Rózsa Hoffmann said upon announcement of the results that “There have always been ups and downs, but this is the first year that all three areas of measurement performed below [the PISA] average.” Hoffman went on to state that no one should be proud of Hungary’s results, but the numbers show the necessity of education policy measures taken by the newly-elected government in 2010. 

Hoffman also blamed amendments to the national curriculum made in 2003 by the prior government, claiming that academic requirements had been weakened then.

The OECD has been evaluating 15-year-old with the PISA test metric since 2000. For the latest edition of the test, over 510,000 students worldwide participated, with the study covering math, reading and science.

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