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United States Lags on 2015 PISA

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December 6, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC — The US ranks 35th in math, 15th in reading, and 18th in science according to the 2015 PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) released today. Scores indicate a decline for the first time in several years in math, while reading and science remain stagnant.

The PISA assessment, administered every three years to 15-year-olds across the globe by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), is widely considered the most valid worldwide assessment of student performance across almost 70 countries. Its results should guide how countries address potentially needed improvements.

In 2012, for example, only nine percent of US “15-year-old students scored at proficiency level 5 or above, which was lower than the OECD average of 13 percent.” In Science and Reading the proficiency is not dramatically different. The US typically ranks similar to the average of all OECD’s 27 participating countries. Keep in mind that includes countries like Estonia and Ireland, both of which score better than the world’s most advanced country, the United States of America. On the 2015 results, Singapore ranked top, with countries like Estonia, Ireland, and Canada again ranking ahead of the US.

“This is a rallying cry for anyone concerned about this country, and evidence once again that we must put Opportunity and Innovation on the front end of all education policy initiatives,” said CER Founder and CEO Jeanne Allen. “The lagging indicators of US education will be a critical challenge for the new Administration.”

About the Center for Education Reform

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that the conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.

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