Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Israeli Media Exageration

If there is one thing the Israeli media is good at, it's making the situation in Israel seem a lot worse than it actually is. The love to make dire conclusions about life here and about the government. Take a look at these recent headlines about a recent report comparing the Israeli education system to the OECD countries.

Israeli teachers earn less than half the global average

OECD report paints bleak picture of Israeli education

OECD: Israelis in last place for science, math

Well it certainly looks as if the sky is falling. Does this mean Israel has somehow lost the Jewish commitment to education. Is the government not spending enough money on education. The answers are of course no and no.

Israel spends plenty on education. In fact all of these articles missed the most interesting piece of information to come from this report. As a percentage of its GDP Israel spends more than any other OECD country. What this means is that Israel is in fact on the right course.

Yes, these articles do make important points about areas in which Israel is trailing and I'm not arguing that the system is perfect. But these stories fail to point out the huge amount of money Israel is spending to educate its children. By failing to accurately describe the reality of the situation the media is preventing the public from drawing the right conclusions about how to move forward and actually make things better.

What Israel really needs to do is grow its economy. Israel could then spend the same percentage on education but have the total equal a lot more. The Israeli economy has performed wonderfully over the last several years and has grown a lot faster than the OECD average.

Why hasn't the media talked about this? Those headlines should have instead said something like this, "Israel makes progress in Education over last several years."

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