International Assessments Reveal American Students’ Ongoing Struggle With Math

New international assessments show American students continue to struggle with math, despite widespread adoption of the Common Core curriculum.

EdSource reports that the U.S. ranked 31st out of 77 education systems globally on the Program for International Student Assessments in the fall of 2018. The data was released Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Average scores for U.S. students remained flat across all subjects last year compared to 2015 — when the U.S. saw a decline in math scores — according to the most recent results.

The U.S. did move higher in the rankings compared to other countries. However, that can largely be explained by declines in other countries’ average scores. From 2015 to 2018, the U.S. went from 15th to 8th in reading, 35th to 30th in math and 17th to 11th in science, when comparing the countries that participated in the assessment both years.

Results also showed a growing gap between the test’s highest and lowest performers.

One silver lining? Science. Scores have increased since 2006 from 489 to 502 twelve years later. There was no significant change between 2015 and 2018. U.S. reading scores have also stayed constant since the year 2000.


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