The poor results obtained by Spanish students in the recently published PISA report, which analyses average abilities in math, reading and science, sparked fierce debate among politicians and educators yesterday, with parents being subjected to blame, as well as the education system itself.
The results of the PISA 2006 survey of 15-year-olds, released on Tuesday, showed that Spain is the country to have dropped furthest in terms of reading skills with respect to previous reports - from an average of 581 points to 561 - leaving it in 35th place of the 56 countries surveyed, behind Luxembourg, Portugal, Italy and Slovakia. Moreover, Spanish students have also failed to improve in math and science, leaving them in 32nd and 31st places, respectively.
Speaking on Tuesday at a conference organised by British publication The Economist, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said that "the main determining factor regarding education for each generation is the education that their parents received, along with what they get from the education system." He went on to explain that Spain has seen many generations with little education in its recent history.