Immigrant pupils achieve lower scores

Overall, immigrant pupils and Norwegian-born pupils to immigrant parents achieve lower scores than other pupils on most of the national tests. However, nuances are introduced when country background and parents’ educational attainment is taken into account.

The results of the national tests in 2009 show, as in previous years, that boys achieve higher scores than girls in mathematics, whereas girls on average do better than boys in reading Norwegian. These gender differences can be observed both in 5th and 8th grade. In reading English, there are only minor differences.

There is also a positive correlation between pupils’ achievements in the national tests and their parents’ level of education, which can be observed over time.

Half of the immigrant pupils on lowest mastering level in mathematics

On average, immigrants and Norwegian-born pupils to immigrant parents achieve lower scores than other pupils. The only exception is English 5th grade, where Norwegian-born pupils to immigrant parents have the highest scores. Close to 48 percent of the immigrant pupils in 5th grade score at the lowest mastering level in reading, whereas only about 25 per cent of the pupils with non-immigrant parents do the same. The gap between these groups is almost equally pronounced in mathematics.

The findings are somewhat modified if we take into consideration the parents’ level of education when comparing the various immigration categories. If we only compare pupils whose parents have less than tertiary education, there are only minor differences in the results achieved in English and mathematics between Norwegian-born pupils to immigrant parents and pupils with non-immigrant parents. However, the scores amongst immigrant pupils remain, on average, significantly lower than those of the other two groups, even when the parents’ level of education is taken into account.

There are pronounced variations in the results of pupils with different country backgrounds within the two groups ‘immigrant pupils’ and ‘Norwegian-born pupils with immigrant parents’. It is particularly immigrant pupils and Norwegian-born pupils to immigrant parents from country group 2 who attain lower results than other pupils.

Source: Statistics Norway

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