With over a decade’s worth of educational reform and billions of dollars spent on education, the United States scores in math, science, and reading have not improved. Moreover, our ranking is descending because other countries from around the world are improving. Teenage students in the United States failed to place among the top 20 countries in any academic category.
This disturbing recognition is based on results from USA’s participation in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), comparing testing of American teenagers with 64 other countries in 2012. Since the test was first administered in 2000, U.S. teenagers remain a little above average in reading, average in Science and below average in math, when compared to other countries.
The disheartening outcome of the test prompted Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, to beg the public not to blame the teachers or teachers union for the meager results. The results give a black eye to the teacher’s union which constantly advocates for higher salaries but rarely produces higher test scores for students. Teachers alone are not to blame; the No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top programs have done nothing to improve American rankings in PISA scores.
While government has failed young Americans once again, look for Common Core advocates to use the results to argue for still more government.
Shanghai China exalted to the top of all categories, placing first in reading, math, and science. China registered as much as two grade levels above the U.S. in mathematics. Overall in the math portion, the U.S. finished 29th behind Asian stalwarts China, Japan, and Korea – but we also lagged behind Latvia and Slovenia.