On Monday the 3rd of December 2012 the Department of Basic Education released the results of the Annual National Assessments (ANA) of 2012. These are a set of nationally standardized tests for numeracy and literacy for Grades 1-6 and 9. The accompanying report revealed that there have been considerable advances in literacy and numeracy of children in Grades 1 to 6 nationally. For instance, in Grade 3 the average language score improved remarkably since the 2011 ANA, from 35% to 52%; in mathematics the improvement was from 28% to 41%. In both cases, this was an improvement of almost half on the average 2011 score. Partially in response to these improbably large increases, the Mail & Guardian spoke spoke to Stellenbosch economists Servaas van der Berg and Nicholas Spaull, who have both done considerable research on educational performance. The full transcript of the interview can be found here and the print article titled “Improved annual national assessment results impossible, say academics” can be found on the Mail & Guardian’s website here.