‘Educational stagnation’ in U.S.?

PISA (The Programme for International Student Assessment) recently released their 2012 findings on the state of education in America and other nations. PISA, a “triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students”, found some less-than-stellar results, as reported by Politico:

  • U.S. students scored in the middle of the pack on the latest math, reading and science PISA tests (of 65 global economies).
  • Average American scores on PISA tests haven’t changed in over ten years.
  • In math, the U.S. ranked 26th in the world, with students showing particular trouble with geometry, modelling, and “real-world applications of mathematical concepts”.
  • Fewer than 9% of U.S. students scored advanced in math, compared to 55% from Shanghai, 40% from Singapore, and more than 16% in Canada.
  • The U.S. had significantly higher proportions of students scoring at the lowest levels than most of its international rivals.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, suggests focus on standardized testing, “sanctioning” teachers, and closing schools has failed to improve the quality of education in America, and that “better teacher training, a more robust curriculum, and efforts to distribute more resources to the neediest schools” would lead to better education outcomes. PISA results confirmed that high rates of child poverty have a direct effect on student performance, with high-poverty schools in the U.S. scoring dismally on the PISA tests alongside countries such as Kazakhstan and Romania.

What do you think is the key to helping students increase their standings on international education tests?

To read the full Politico article, click here.
To learn more about PISA, click here.
To learn about what GradePower can do to help students increase abilities and grades in key subjects, click here.

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