Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The increase of foreign-born children in Swedish schools has played a part in the country’s overall decline in educational achievement and test scores in recent years, officials report

The number of teenagers who failed to qualify for upper secondary school in Sweden increased from 10% in 2006 to more than 14% in 2015. A report by the Swedish Education Agency has concluded that 85% of the increase was explained by immigrant students unable to catch up with Swedes of the same age. Over the past decade, Swedish test scores on the OECD’s so-called PISA ranking of school performance among 15-year-olds has seen the most dramatic drop out of all the countries taking part in the survey. At the same time, the percentage of students in Swedish schools who had arrived in the country after the age of seven jumped from 3% in 2006 to 8% in 2015. The report, entitled The Importance of Immigration for School Results, defines immigrant students as children who are either foreign-born or whose parents are both born outside Sweden. It concluded that as immigrant students now arrive in greater numbers and at an older age, they had less time to learn Swedish and catch up in vital subjects before leaving Year 9. As a result, an increasing number of foreign-born students fail to obtain the grades needed to move on to Swedish upper secondary school – equivalent to A-levels or High School. "We already know that immigrant students on average have lower performance in school," said Education Agency Director Anna Ekstrom. "Now we know more about how much the increasing proportion of immigrant students has affected overall performance."

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