Math, Science, Reading Scores Show U.S. Schools Slipping Behind

Source: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/us/july-dec10/education_12-10.html

Math, Science, Reading Scores Show U.S. Schools Slipping Behind

Posted: December 10, 2010 PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION: PDF

The United States received a stark wake-up call this week with the release of international test results showing students in other countries are surpassing American students when it comes to math, science and reading. China and Australia outperformed the U.S. in each of the three subject areas tested.

The results of a major international education assessment show that American students are lagging behind many other countries in crucial skills like reading, math and science.

“The United States came in 23rd or 24th in most subjects. We can quibble, or we can face the brutal truth that we’re being out-educated,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Test compares U.S. to other countries

The PISA tests how advanced students are in science, math and reading compared to their peers around the world.

The test, known as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), directly assesses how prepared teenagers are in math, science and reading compared to their peers in other countries.
The test is translated into each country’s language, and officials from the participating countries are able to review questions before students take the exam to make sure each test is fair and unbiased.

In the U.S., the participating schools and students are randomly selected. On average, about 4,500 students are tested in each of the participating countries.

China and Finland lead the way

Chinese and Finnish students scored highest on the PISA test.

Each PISA subject area is scored on a scale where 500 points is the average. The results announced this week show many countries outperforming the U.S. Here’s a sample:

Math: China 600, Germany 513, United States 487 (31st place)

Reading: China 556, Korea 539, United States 500 (17th place)

Science: China 575, Finland 554, United States 502 (23rd place)

The results of a major international education assessment show that  American students are lagging behind many other countries in crucial skills like reading, math and science.

Continue reading at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/us/july-dec10/education_12-10.html

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