International testing data shows that American high schoolers perform at a distinctly mediocre level in reading, math, and science. Our future imperial masters, though, scored at the very top.
After a decade of intensive efforts to improve its schools, the United States posted these results in a new global survey of 15-year-old student achievement: average in reading, average in science and slightly below average in math.
Those middling scores lagged significantly behind results from several countries in Europe and Asia in the report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to be made public Tuesday.
South Korea is an emerging academic powerhouse. Finland and Singapore continue to flex their muscles. And the Chinese city of Shanghai, participating for the first time in the Program for International Student Assessment, topped the 2009 rankings of dozens of countries and a handful of sub-national regions.
The top five in reading: (1) Shanghai-China (2) South Korea (3) Finland (4) Hong Kong-China (5) Singapore. The USA ranked 17.
The top five in math: (1) Shanghai-China (2) Singapore (3) Hong Kong-China (4) South Korea (5) Taiwain. The USA ranked 31.
The top five in science: (1) Shanghai-China (2) Finland (3) Hong Kong-China (4) Singapore (5) Japan. The USA ranked 23.
Would this not be evidence of American decline and Asian ascendancy? (Also, I suppose, Finnish ascendancy?) Any ideas about what we could do to become eduationally competitive again? Keeping in mind everything that hasn’t worked?