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U.S. Performance Across International Assessments of Student Achievement: Special Supplement to The Condition of Education 2009


A special supplement to the Condition of Education 2009 was recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics. The report looks closely at information gathered from international studies and examines the performance of U.S. students in reading, mathematics, and science compared with the performance of their peers in other countries. In response to the release of the report, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the "report is another wake-up call that our students are treading the waters of academic achievement while other countries' students are swimming faster and farther. Our students have stagnated educationally, putting our long-term economic security at risk. In math, our 15-year-olds' scores now lag behind those of 31 countries. In science, our eighth graders' scores now lag behind their peers in eight countries that had also participated in the original assessment. In reading, five countries have improved their performance and surpassed our 4th graders." Duncan also noted that "This is the first time that the most recent findings from the three major internationals tests have been published in one place. It compels us to renew our focus and reinvigorate our resolve to prepare our students to achieve to high academic standards and be ready for the global marketplace."