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December 4, 2013

U.S. Education System Lags Behind Other Countries


U.S. education system lags behind other countries

While students in the U.S. are familiar with the standardized tests that help compare students within and among the states, the PISA test is designed to assess and rank the educational systems in 65 countries around the world.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which administers the test, just released the results of the latest PISA test from 2012, which showed that the U.S. hovers near the middle of the pack, lagging in some areas, even as other countries advanced. The U.S. struggled the most in math, where 15-year-olds in 29 other countries had higher average scores than Americans.

U.S. scores in reading and science rank 20th and 23rd respectively in the world. The highest scoring countries were located in East Asia. Students from Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea and Japan were at the top.

Warm up questions
  1. How do you think the U.S. education system compares to other countries?
  2. How could you test the quality of the system?
  3. How could you test the quality of the students?
Discussion questions
  1. Do you believe the PISA test accurately reflects how good the U.S. education system is?
  2. Do you believe the PISA test accurately reflects how good U.S. students are?
  3. If you could design a way to test the quality of the education that you are receiving how would you do it?
  4. What changes could be made to the education system so that U.S. students could catch up in Math and Science?
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