The results of the latest international student tests are out, with Mexican students continuing to languish at the bottom of the list of member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
They obtained an average score of 416 points in the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, while across the OECD the average is 492.
In the three areas assessed — sciences, reading and mathematics — fewer than 1% of students in Mexico achieved a top-performing level 5 or 6, a percentage that has not changed significantly since 2006.
Students scored 416 points in science, on average, with a mean performance below the OECD average of 496.
In reading, the average national score was 423 points, below the OECD average of 493.
In the third subject, mathematics, Mexican students earned the lowest score of all 34 OECD countries with 408 points. The OECD average is 490.
In a presentation of the 2016 PISA results, the OECD said “Mexico’s mean performance in mathematics has improved by five points every three years, on average, between 2003 and 2015.”
“However, in 2015, Mexico’s mean score was lower than the score attained in 2009,” it said.
Fifty-seven per cent of students are considered low achievers in mathematics while in science the percentage is 48 and in reading 42.
In a video press conference, OECD Chief of Staff Gabriela Ramos lamented that after 15 years of PISA testing in Mexico the results continue to be disappointing, and the country continues falling behind with no significant variations in its results.
“It’s not what the students of Mexico deserve,” she said, adding that the picture is “very negative” with regard to Mexico’s performance, and “not a good one of its education system.”
Ramos recalled that until recently the Mexican education system was not merit-based, and rewarded the efforts of neither students nor teachers. But that is intended to change through the federal government’s education reforms, although they are not designed to offer short-term results.
Ramos said scores should improve given time. If the implementation of the reforms is effective, she said, better results will be seen.
She expects the first results of the educational reforms will start to be reflected in PISA results by 2018.