Previous PIRLS assessments have asked principals for their perceptions about the degree to which a series of discipline, disorderly, and bullying behaviors are problems in their schools. Exhibit 7.1 presents the PIRLS 2016 results for the School Discipline scale. Countries are ordered by the percentage of students whose principals reported few student discipline problems. Sixty-two percent of the fourth grade students, on average, attended schools where the principals reported Hardly Any Problems, another 30 percent attended schools with Minor Problems, and 8 percent attended schools with Moderate to Severe Problems. Average reading achievement was higher for students in schools with Hardly Any Problems than for those in schools with Minor Problems (518 vs. 503). However, it was substantially lower—by 48 points—for students in schools with Moderate to Severe Problems (455).
The trend results indicate that school discipline problems have not worsened since PIRLS 2011. Five countries showed fewer problems and two countries had an increase.