Danish school students are still performing above most of their OECD peers, according to the newly-published PISA report (here in English).
The PISA assessment, compiled to measure the reading, maths and science skills of 15-year-olds across the OECD every three years, showed that Denmark scored above the OECD average in all three categories.
But while Denmark scored 501 in reading (OECD average is 487) and 509 in math (OECD average is 489), the Danish kids have taken a step back in science and are very close to the OECD average (489) with a score of 493 – and the boys are struggling more than the girls.
The report doesn’t reveal why the Danes are faltering in science (which covers physics, biology, geography and chemistry).
Every sixth Danish student is also considered a weak reader, which is another concern that the education minister, Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil, hopes to address.
“We shouldn’t forget that one out of six leave school without adequate reading capabilities, so even if the overall numbers look good, they help cover up big challenges facing the Danish school system.” said Rosenkrantz-Theil.
“I am worried about the drop we see in science. We need to take a closer look at that. The skills the students don’t obtain in school are some they can risk lacking for the rest of their lives.”
Some 7,657 Danish 15-year-olds across 344 schools took part in the PISA test this year. Worldwide, about 500,000 students across 72 countries participated. The first PISA test took place in 2000.