American Students Are Academically Average in Global Review

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U.S. teens are, academically speaking, preforming below par. The results are in from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and the data suggest a middle-of-the-pack performance internationally, as well as inequality at home.

Given once every three years to 15-year-olds, the test assesses student literacy in math, reading, and science. In the 2012 round of testing, 65 countries participated from nations in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, and Oceania. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) arranges PISA in the participating countries. The average of all the countries’ scores is referred to as the OECD average.

In math, the U.S. had an average score of 481, lower than the OCED average of 494, and lower than the scores of 29 other education systems. The results in science and reading were both “not measurably different from the OECD average.” For science, U.S. students averaged 497 (OECD: 501) and in reading, the mean result was 498 (OECD: 496). Twenty-two education systems bested U.S. scores in science, while 19 preformed better in reading.

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