National Study of Primary and Junior High School Practices to Advance Low-Achieving Students: Final Report

The advancement of low-achieving students who experience school adjustment difficulties is one of the most important goals of the education system in Israel. However, until now, there has been no comprehensive study of the practices implemented in order to advance these students. Consequently, decisions about policies, approaches and programs in schools are currently made without systematic information about what is already happening in the schools.

The survey maps the entire array of activities for low achievers at primary and junior high schools in Israel. The findings present, for the first time, the situation throughout Israel regarding the variety of school practices to address the needs of low achievers – the extent of these activities and their characteristics, the difficulties involved in implementing them, and the suggestions of professionals in the field about to how to strengthen these efforts.

The study included interviews with school principals and homeroom teachers from a representative sample of 345 schools. It was conducted during the winter of the 2005/2006 school year.

School practices were examined on various levels. Among the main topics studied:

  • Seven key strategies for providing special assistance to low achievers: Scholastic assistance both in and outside of the classroom; co-teaching by two professional teachers; teaching by a professional teacher together with an unqualified teaching assistant; professional therapy; mentoring to enhance social and emotional adjustment; and work with the student’s parents
  • External programs implemented with the help of educational agencies from outside the school, such as the Ministry of Education, the local authorities, and third sector organizations
  • In-service staff training for improving their work with low achievers

The goal of the study is to support the development of policy and professional knowledge in order to strengthen work with low-achieving students and improve programs for them. The findings are being discussed with decision-makers in the education system and will serve to support efforts to improve the way the system functions in this area. The study’s findings will also serve as a baseline for monitoring changes in the education system pursuant to new policy initiatives.

The study was financed with the assistance of Annie Sandler, Virginia, Ashalim and the Ministry of Education and conducted through the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Education.

Meeting the Needs of Low-Achieving Students: A National Study in Elementary and Junior High Schools

On July 11th, the Institute held a national conference on the efforts of the education system to promote low-achieving students with the support of Annie Sandler

Citations in the professional and academic literature

Ben-Rabi, D., & Amiel, S. (2010). After-school educational programs: Goals, work practices and best-practice indicators. Research report RR-567-10). Jerusalem, Israel: Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute.

Razer, M., Mittelberg, D., & Ayalon, S. (2018). The ability-track glass ceiling of Israeli schooling: lessons from a comparative analysis of Israeli and Australian PISA 2012 data. International Journal of Inclusive Education22(2), 192-214.

Ben-Rabi, D., Konstantinov, V., Baruj, R., & Cohen-Navot, M. Issues in the Evaluation of a Program to Promote Educational Achievements of Ethiopian-Israeli High School Students.