Math in the News
Report Places U.S. 15-Year-Olds below Average in Math
December 14, 2010
According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Education in early December 2010, 15-year-old students in the U.S. ranked below average in mathematics compared to students in other industrialized nations. Out of 34 nations, the U.S. came in 25th.
In addition, 15-year-olds in the U.S. attained only average levels in reading and science. They placed 14th in reading and 17th in science.
The study, called the Program on International Student Assessment, indicated that China, Finland, and South Korea had the highest scores, based on how well students apply knowledge in mathematics, science, and reading. Listing percentages of students reaching proficiency, it reported scores, by gender, for the U.S. and other countries, as well as by race/ethnicity and school socioeconomic contexts.
"This is an absolute wake-up call for America," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "The results are extraordinarily challenging to us and we have to deal with the brutal truth. We have to get much more serious about investing in education."
Nonetheless, there was a bright spot: U.S. students improved since the previous Assessment, in 2006.
Source: MSNBC (December 7, 2010) http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2011004