(Dec 3) Program for International Assessment (PISA) 2012 Results

By STEPHANIE SIMON | 12/3/13 7:58 AM EST Updated: 12/3/13 11:36 AM EST

U.S. students continue to perform poorly on international tests, with 15-year-olds scoring in the middle of the global pack on the latest math, reading and science tests administered by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In a familiar hierarchy, Asian countries and regions such as Hong Kong, Japan, Shanghai, Singapore and South Korea topped the rankings for the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment, according to results released Tuesday morning.

Average American scores on PISA tests haven’t budged in a decade, despite bipartisan efforts to shake up the status quo through reforms such as mandating more frequent testing, publicizing student proficiency rates and opening public schools to competition from charter and private schools.

Top-line takeaways from the volumes of data released Tuesday:

  • In math, the U.S. ranked 26th in the world, on par with nations such as Hungary, Russia and the Slovak Republic. American students had particular trouble with geometry, modeling and real-world applications of mathematical concepts.
  • In science, the U.S. came in 21st, ahead of Russia and at the same level as Italy, Latvia and Portugal.
  • In reading, the U.S. posted its best showing, with a rank of 17th in the world, on equal footing with the United Kingdom, France and Austria.
  • Countries on the ascent in PISA rankings include Poland and Russia. Those slipping include Sweden and the once widely envied Finland, which has lost considerable ground in math. Canada remains a very strong performer on all three exams, as do the Netherlands and Germany.

Full story: PISA results show ‘educational stagnation’ in U.S. Stephanie Simon, Politico, 12/3/13



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