Education: Fourth graders perform worse in a country comparison

In a nationwide educational comparison, the fourth-graders in Brandenburg's schools performed poorly, especially in spelling.

Education: Fourth graders perform worse in a country comparison

In a nationwide educational comparison, the fourth-graders in Brandenburg's schools performed poorly, especially in spelling. But they are also worse than the national average when it comes to reading, listening and mathematics. At 30.3 percent, less than a third of children in the fourth grade in Brandenburg achieved the standard standard for orthography in the subject German for 2021, as a study presented by the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK) on Monday shows. Only in Berlin was the proportion lower.

The Brandenburg Ministry of Education was not surprised: the decline in the skills of elementary school students compared to the tests in 2011 and 2016 was expected because the children had significantly fewer lessons due to the school closures due to the corona pandemic. "The weeks of school closures and the long phases of restricted teaching have negative consequences, which are now also proven by the present study," said Minister of Education Britta Ernst (SPD). Therefore, the "Catching up after Corona" program will continue unabated.

The education policy spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group in the state parliament, Gordon Hoffmann, added that in addition to the catch-up program, more time was needed for the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic in the classroom. The educational trend has also clearly shown how important language support is from kindergarten age. "Therefore, a resilient political solution between the federal and state governments is required to continue the language day-care program."

The opposition Left Group, on the other hand, accused Ernst of making serious mistakes. "In particular, the decision by the Minister of Education to focus on the final classes, on performance, on the strict continuation of assessment and examinations during the corona pandemic was definitely wrong," said Kathrin Dannenberg, spokeswoman for education policy. "While the big ones were groomed for exams, the little ones sat at home and filled out worksheets."

The education expert of the AfD parliamentary group, Dennis Hohloch, also expressed harsh criticism. "Education Minister Ernst has worsened the conditions for our students by closing schools for too long and inadequate catch-up programs," he said and called for a change in education policy. "We don't have to concentrate on the first foreign language in elementary school, but rather on learning basic skills in basic subjects such as German and mathematics."

45.7 percent did not reach the minimum standard in Brandenburg. Across Germany, 44.4 percent of the children reached the standard standard and 30.4 percent did not reach the minimum standard. Five years earlier, 50.7 percent in Brandenburg still managed to meet the standard, only 23.2 percent failed to reach the minimum standard.

For the educational trend of the Institute for Quality in Education, the status of pupils is examined at intervals of five years. Between April and August 2021, around 27,000 fourth graders were tested at almost 1,500 schools in Germany - in reading, listening, spelling and mathematics. The figures for all of Germany were presented in July, and a country comparison followed.

Things are a little better in mathematics in Brandenburg: 46 percent of the fourth-graders achieved the standard. However, the nationwide average is 54.8 percent and the development was negative here as well. Five years earlier, 63 percent of the children in Brandenburg had reached the normal standard. 29.2 percent did not meet the minimum standard in Brandenburg - nationwide it was 21.8 percent. In 2016, the figure in Brandenburg was 14.7 percent.

Even when reading and listening, the fourth graders in Brandenburg did not perform as well as the national average and the values ​​deteriorated compared to five years ago. According to a survey, 51.3 percent of the children in Brandenburg met the standard when reading, only in Berlin and Bremen were fewer. 21.6 percent did not reach the minimum standard in Brandenburg. When listening, 51.9 percent of the Brandenburg children came up to the standard standard, 22.5 percent did not reach the minimum standard.

The comparison with the 2016 study showed that elementary school children are increasingly having math and German problems and that their skills are falling behind over the years. "The most unfavorable developments can be observed in all areas of competence in Brandenburg," says the study on reading, orthography and listening. Here, the proportion of students who do not achieve the minimum standard has roughly doubled in the past five years. In mathematics, the proportions in Berlin, Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia were consistently significantly less favorable than nationwide.

The Brandenburg Ministry of Education criticized the testing procedure, which had distorted the results in the federal states. The tests in Brandenburg were carried out after a two-month complete school closure in the middle of a phase of alternating lessons. In other countries, this took place at a later point in time, after longer on-site operations. Because of the importance of the study, Brandenburg decided against stopping it. "In the future, it must be ensured that the tests in the federal states take place under comparable conditions," demanded Ernst.

Information on the IQB education trend 2021 short report 2021 sample tasks

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