City’s Third-Graders Lagging Academically

A large swath of Berlin third-graders fail to meet minimum standards in German and math, and efforts to combat the problems by hiring new teachers will take years, according to the Tagesspiegel.

Some 24 percent of Berlin third-graders fall in the bottom of five skill levels with that figure climbing to 48 percent among students with non-German backgrounds, the paper reported, citing the Vera 3 study from the Institut für Schulqualität (Institute for School Quality). The test looked at German reading and listening abilities as well as “numbers and operations” as well as “patterns and structures” in math.

The study rates students who fall into the two lowest skill levels as “at-risk” — 52 percent of the students studied were considered “at-risk” in German reading and 64 percent in numbers and operations, according to Tagesspiegel.

Berlin’s education secretary said a two-year-old law that requires hewly hired elementary teachers to have studied math and German needs support. The new law is facing difficulty, however, because Berlin hasn’t trained enough qualified teachers in past years.

The test reportedly doesn’t provide comparisons to previous years and future versions will not be publicized.


Photo thanks Tony Webster via Creative Commons and Flickr.

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