According to the latest data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the knowledge of 15-year-old students through mathematics, reading, and science, students from the United States have hardly made progress in the past nine years; among thirty-four developed countries, the US ranked 26th
in math, 21st
in science, and 17th
in reading. In comparison, Shanghai scored the highest overall, leading educators and administrators to question the quality of the US’s education standards.
“The systems that are making the most progress have embraced rigorous curriculums for their kids, and we need to do the same thing,” said Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America. “It’s very hard to make progress without adopting globally benchmarked standards for our kids.” While most educators believe the Common Core Standards will help place the United States higher on the PISA results, others believe that more can be done: Kris Perry, the executive director of the First Five Years Fund, believes the US needs better access to high-quality preschools, while Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, says that the US should learn from high-performing nations (i.e. Japan, Finland, and Switzerland) and have greater respect for public education.
PISA is given every three years in order to assess to what extent students at the end of their compulsory education can apply their knowledge to real-life situations; the tests are not directly linked to school curriculum. Given the results of PISA 2012 were just released, it is unsure of what measures the United States will take to improve its students’ education and knowledge. However, we can be sure that educators all over the nation will use the next three years to help the United States get out of its stagnant placement.
Read more at: U.S. Students Get Stuck in Middle of the Pack on OECD Test– Bloomberg.com and American Students Fall in International Academic Test, Chinese Lead the Pack – US News.
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We hope you have a great week!
-The Project Tomorrow Team
Written by Lisa Chu, Project Tomorrow Fall Intern