Why Are Indonesian Students Getting Worse at Mathematics?
This text explores the decline in mathematics performance among Indonesian students from 2000 to 2014. The study analyzes primary school-level mathematics questions and reveals a decrease in learning outcomes across the country. The decline is observed in various age groups and cohorts, including those who have recently completed schooling. The analysis utilizes item response theory to predict the probability of answering questions correctly, indicating a decrease in numeracy scores. The study also highlights the diminishing learning levels for the wealthiest 20 percent of students, suggesting a widening achievement gap. Despite increased education spending and improved teacher qualifications, these factors do not explain the decline in learning. The composition of students in the education system, repetition of grades, changes in the national examination system, exposure to mathematics instruction, and decentralization are considered as potential explanations. However, the impact of these factors on learning outcomes remains uncertain.