Advancing a Free Society

U.S. Performance on PISA: The Rest of the Story

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today, in advance of this week’s International Summit on the Teaching Profession, Fordham is releasing a little paper by Janie Scull and me, American Achievement in International Perspective. We analyzed the recent PISA results in reading and math a number of ways, and came up with some interesting (and surprising) insights. Among them:

  • In raw numbers, the United States produces many more high-achieving students than any other OECD nation. In both reading and math, the U.S. produces more high achievers than France, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined. (This is of course due to our large size—but explains why Americans continue to dominate prestigious universities, leading corporations, etc.)
  • Proportionally, Asian American students are the best readers in the world, and white Americans are bested only by Finns and New Zealanders.

Now for the bad news:

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