Americans Falling Behind in Math

The Atlantic featured an Eric Hanushek study showing that America is falling further behind in education.

Only 6 percent of U.S. students perform at the advanced-proficiency level in math, a share that lags behind kids in some 30 other countries, from the United Kingdom to Taiwan. But what happens when we break down the results? Do any individual U.S. states wind up near the top?

Incredibly, no. Even if we treat each state as its own country, not a single one makes it into the top dozen contenders on the list. The best performer is Massachusetts, ringing in at No. 17. Minnesota also makes it into the upper-middle tier, followed by Vermont, New Jersey, and Washington. And down it goes from there, all the way to Mississippi, whose students—by this measure at least—might as well be attending school in Thailand or Serbia.

It’s bad news top to bottom.  “The United States does not do a good job of educating kids at the top,” Tom Loveless said after reviewing the study. The article continued: “even these relatively privileged students do not compete favorably with average students in other well-off countries.”
Last year, President Obama reminded us, “The countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow.”  That list is getting longer.

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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